Firmin was born in Paris, 14th
April, 1764, and died 24th April, 1836. He was distinguished by his
literary taste and his excellence as a printer. The types for several of his father’s editions were engraved by him, and his script founts were greatly superior to any that had previously been executed. His Roman characters especially were of great excellence. In 1795 he conceived the plan of consolidating the types which he employed in printing his logarithmic tables, and in pursuing this object he arrived gradually at the stereotyping process. The word steriotypie was, in fact, invented by him. A patent was granted for the invention in 1797.
Another patent was granted to him in 1805 for an improved mode of forming script types, and in 1823 a further patent was granted for a new system of executing, in typography, various kinds of maps and charts. After having travelled in Italy, Greece, and Spain, Firmin retired in 1827 from the active super-intendence of his great establishment. In 1830 the Government offered him the position of director of the Royal Printing office, which, however, he declined. He was decorated with the medal of the Legion of Honour, and appointed Printer to the King and to the French Institute. The Government had his bust in marble placed in one of the halls of the Imperial Printing-office, and a medal in his honour was struck after his death. His portrait, painted by his friend Girodet, is hung in the gallery of the Louvre. A medal was struck at Paris in honour of Firmin Didot in 1839. On the obverse is a bust, nearly full face ; to the right, in modem costume, with the name on either side in bold letters : “Firmin Didot.” On the reverse is a heavy wreath of laurel-leaves, tied at foot with a ribbon, within which is the inscription “Stephanonim Aemulus musarum cultor.” In 1806 he published a translation, of which he was the author, of the Bucolics of Virgil. The book is interesting from a typographical point of view, not only because of its being translated by the printer, but because the latter also engraved and cast the types. It is also remarkable for the use of the character called “Anglaise,” which appeared for the first time in the dedication of the book to Pierre Didot, the author’s elder brother. The volume concludes with a long bibliographical and typographical note. He also printed M. Brun’s “ Manuel de Typographie Francaise “ (Paris, 1825), a masterpiece of printing, and possessing the peculiarity of not containing a single divided word.
Trianon Normande, the fatface that propels the ever-so-flexible Trianon into a new realm of intensity.
The already versatile 42-styles Trianon family acquires new arrays of possibilities with ‘Normande’ styles. Big and bold, Trianon Normande is stepping forward to have a say. Setting titles in Trianon Normande allows text to gain a solid, self-confident voice without shouting too much. Available in Roman and Italic styles, Trianon Normande stays classy, but assertive.
Award-winning type family Trianon is a wide, flexible system with design variants meant to perform in a variety of sizes and media. With the addition of the Normande series, it is even more powerful and capable than ever.
‘Normande’ is the French name for a fashion of extra black Fat Faces. They were distant derivatives of the late Didot style upon which Trianon is built. Normandes were an abundant flavour in France from 1825, although records show similar patterns in the work of Englishman Vincent Figgins as early as 1815.
There is no clear reason why and how the name ‘Normande’ was coined. Alongside the likes of Parisiennes, Italiennes, or Mexicaines, it appears that these were probably employed just for the sake of designation and classification without being connected to aesthetical features.
Design: Loic Sander. Team: Sandra Carrera, Roxane Gataud, Yoann Minet.