Simon de Colines

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Simon de Colines (1480–1546), a Parisian printer, one of the first printer type of the French Renaissance. He was active in Paris between 1520 and 1546. Colines used elegant roman and italic types and a Greek type, with accents, that was superior to its predecessors. His books usually were small in format and superbly crafted.

Colines was associated with the elder Henri Estienne and continued his work after his death in 1520. Colines married widow of Estienne and was in charge of the press until Estienne’s son Robert I entered the business in 1526, by which time Colines had set up his own shop nearby. In 1528 he began to use italic type. Colines published many Greek and Latin classics. Although he was not a scholar himself, he extended the range of the Estienne firm’s learned and scientific works to include the natural sciences, cosmology, and astrology. He is credited with the design of italic and Greek fonts and of a roman face for St. Augustine’s Sylvius (1531), from which the Garamond types were derived. In 1525 he published the notable Grandes Heures de Simon de Colines, with decorations by Geoffroy Tory.


  • Simon de Colines: An Annotated Catalogue of 230 Examples of his Press, 1520-1546. Salt Lake City: Brigham Young Univ Library, 1995. Avec une introduction de Jeanne Veyrin-Forrer. (based on the unique collection of the university Brigham Young University and collected by Fred Schreiber who represents 230 editions published by Simon de Colines). Books represented in this catalogue represent nearly a third of the production of Colines during the quarter of century of its career.

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