About Christoffel Plantin
Christoffel Plantin (1520-1589) established himself in Antwerp in 1548 or 1549. He evolved from bookbinder to book-printer in 1555.
Christoffel Plantin had quite a few houses in Antwerp, but on the 24th of June 1576 he moved for the the last time to a house called “groote huysinghe” on the Vrijdagmarkt in Antwerp. He changed the name of this house to ‘De gulden Passer’ (i.e. The Golden Compass. After his death, he was succeeded by his son in law and heir Jan Moretus (a latinised form of Moerentorf). He was able to set the basis for the century-long existence of the “Officina Plantiniana”.
Christoffel Plantin can be considered as the main link in the typography after Gutenberg. He was the first to transform a printer- and publishing company into an industrial undertaking which was far ahead compared to the small scale craft printing of that time.
Christoffel Plantin coupled his humanistic attitude to his interest in substantially new studies and contributions to a never -ending passion for producing fine publications. This made him a true innovator .
The extraordinary typographic quality of Plantin’s publications can be attributed in large part to its special care when choosing its type material . The letters were, at the time of Christopher Plantin, cast elsewhere. Only in the first half of the 17th century did Balthasar Moretus I install a foundry in the house to Plantin Antwerp, which remained intact in its original state until today. There is no other printing installation from Plantin’s time that has survived in its original location.