Sunday, 6 January 2013

A History of Type

Writing is where Visual Communication and Spoken Language meet.

  • Meta-communication
  • Paralinguistics
  • Kinesics
Type Classifications
  • Humanist
  • Old Style
  • Transitional
  • Modern
  • Slab Serif
  • Sans Serif
The “age of print” began around 1450, when Gutenberg's press was invented.

Moveable Type, for print
Gutenberg Gothic Script 1450
Humanist Typefaces

The painter and designer Geofroy Tory believed that the proportions of the alphabet should reflect the ideal human form. He wrote " the cross stroke covers the mans organ of generation, to signify that modesty and chastity are required, before all else, in those who seek acquaintance with well-shaped letters.

F.H.Ernst Schneidler, 1936

 (New) Old Style Typefaces

The types of the eighteenth century English printer William Caslon are characterised by crisp, upright characters that recall the fluid strokes of the flexible steel pen and the pointed quill :

Modern/ Didone typefaces
Attributed to Firmin Didot, 1784 but the most influential ‘Didone’ typeface was created by Giambattista Bodoni.

Slab Serif/ Egyptian 1800's

 Fat face is an inflated, hyper-bold type style developed in the early nineteenth century. 

Sans Serif
Aksidenz Grotesk- Berthold Type Foundry in 1896

Example of Herbert Bayer’s sans- serif typeface- Bayer, 1925
A unicameral type - all text to be lower case, (to ditch capitals)

Eric Gill, ‘Gill Sans’, 1926

Times New Roman Font, Stanley Morison, 1932
Oswald Bruce Cooper, Cooper Black, 1921

Designed in 1957 by Max Miedinger

•Different Type families to explore – Humanist / Old Style / Transitional / Modern / Slab
Serif / Sans Serif
•Remember that type communicates visually and is not just a vehicle for content
•There is nothing more satisfying than a beautifully tight kern

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