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12 Feb

Before the word ‘retro’ came into use in the 1970s, the practise of adopting old styles for new designs was already common.

Unlike the historicism of the Romantic generations, it is mostly the recent past that retro seeks to recapitulate, focusing on the products, fashions and artistic styles produced since the Industrial Revolution, the successive styles of Modernity.

It suggests a fundamental shift in the way we relate to the past.

Different from more traditional forms of revivalism, "retro" suggests a half ironic, half longing consideration of the recent past; it has been called an "unsentimental nostalgia", recalling modern forms that are no longer current.

In typography classicism has always been an influence and throughout the 20th century, early woodcut printing too.

The introduction of the technique of photocomposition to typesetting in the 1960s allowed typographers greater flexibility in the selection and arrangement of type styles and sizes.