Stanley Morison

Early life and career

Stanley Morison was born in Britain on 6 May 1889, at Wanstead, Essex, but spent most of his childhood and early adult years (1896–1912) in London at the family home in Fairfax Road, Harringay. He was self-taught, having left school after his father abandoned his family.

Stanley Morison

Stanley Morison


In 1913 Morison became an editorial assistant on The Imprint magazine.

During the First World War he was a conscientious objector, and was interned.

In 1918 he became design supervisor at the Pelican Press. This was followed by a similar position at the Cloister Press. In 1922 he was a founder-member of the Fleuron Society, dedicated to typographic matters (a fleuron being a typographic flower or ornament). He edited the society's journal, The Fleuron, from 1925 to 1930. The quality of the publication's artwork and printing was considered exceptional. From 1923 to 1925 he was also a staff editor/writer for the Penrose Annual, a graphic arts journal.

Stanley Morison

With the Monotype Corporation

From 1923 to 1967 Morison was a typographic consultant for the Monotype Corporation. In the 1920s and 1930s, his work at Monotype included research and adaptation of historic typefaces, including the revival of the Baskerville, Blado (1923) and Bembo (1929) types. He pioneered the great expansion of the company's range of typefaces, and hugely influenced the field of typography to the present day. (But his notes in his A Tally of Types about his early days with Monotype and its program of typographic revivals are not always correct.)

Stanley Morison
Times New Roman

Morison was also typographical consultant to The Times newspaper from 1929 to 1960; and in 1931, having publicly criticised the paper for the poor quality of its printing, he was commissioned by the newspaper to produce a new, easy-to-read typeface for the publication. Times New Roman, the typeface which Morison developed with graphic artist Victor Lardent, was first used by the newspaper in 1932 and was issued commercially by Monotype in 1933. Morison edited the History of the Times from 1935 to 1952, and was editor of The Times Literary Supplement between 1945 and 1948.

Later career

In 1960 Morison was elected a Royal Designer for Industry. He was a member of the editorial board of Encyclopædia Britannica from 1961 until his death in 1967 in London. He was offered a knighthood in 1953 and the CBE in 1962, but declined both.

He died on 11 October 1967.

2017 History of Graphic Design

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