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Early stencil makers in Europe

While in recent years advances have been made in our understanding of the history of stencilling, information about the early stencil-making trade has remained unassembled. This presentation will review what is presently known. Presentation given by Eric Kindel to ATypI/Barcelona 19 September 2014


The faiseur de caractères, or ‘maker of letters’, was the name given to stencil makers in eighteenth-century France. The trade is probably traceable to the seventeenth century, when the use of stencil letters for producing liturgical books was spreading in France and elsewhere in Europe. The trade continued into the nineteenth century, until the individual faiseur de caractères was subsumed into companies providing a wider range of engraving services.