Guide Early Typography

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As stated before, you can easily use a digital program to help you create a font. Adobe Design Standard includes Adobe Illustrator, which can be used to create the visual look of your font. You might not consider it an art form, but typography can visually say a lot more than the words you use it to visualize. Learn Art Basics with this online course. Again, you will need artistic skills to create your typography, and both methods of creating typography require that you at least know the basics of typography.

Type, from Gutenberg to the 18th century

Whenever starting anything, you should always know the basics. One way to start is to know the terms involved with typography. Some of those terms include counter, bowl, spine, ascendor, descender, terminal, serifs, stem, and ligature. These terms make up the parts of the letters you will be creating. Kerning is another important term to know as it involves the spacing of letters, and spacing is very important to create a good typography. Typeface is another very important component to typography as it involves the style and tone of your font.

  • A Brief History of Typeface Styles and Classifications.
  • A View of Early Typography: Up to About 1600.
  • Similar Books.

Using these will give the user an idea of what you were wanting to communicate when you created the typography. Keeping typeface in mind will help users of your font decide when to use it. Is it a font used for formal invitations to parties, casual get-togethers, or creating essays and other business documents?

For more information about the basics of typography and some great tips, check out these eight rules for creating effective typography. Typography can be viewed as an art form. Art is created by people who use their creativity. Your fonts say something about your creativity, and you should use that to your advantage. Virtually all designers, from brand designers to UI designers to dedicated typography designers , can benefit from expanding their knowledge of typography and the classification of typefaces.

Possibly with the exception of color, the typeface styles used in a design have a greater impact on the way a user perceives that design than virtually any other individual design element. Taking time to learn about typographical elements can help any designer improve their craft and create superior finished projects.

There are five basic classifications of typefaces: serif, sans serif, script, monospaced, and display.

A View of Early Typography: Up to About - AbeBooks - Harry Carter:

As a general rule, serif and sans serif typefaces are used for either body copy or headlines including titles, logos, etc. Monospaced typefaces are generally used for displaying code, though they can also be used for body and headline copy, and were originally used on typewriters. Not all serif and sans serif typefaces are equally suitable for both body and headline copy.

Different typefaces are more legible than others at small sizes, while others are more suitable for larger type. This kind of information can generally be found in the commercial descriptions of the various fonts.


The oldest typefaces were called blackletter , and date back to the s. These early typefaces were reminiscent of handwritten calligraphy. After blackletter came the first serif typefaces. Serifs include slight projections that finish off the strokes of their letterforms called serifs , where the style gets its name.

Emerging in the s, the first serifs were Old Style serifs. This style includes Garamond and Goudy Old Style. The successors to the Old Style serifs were called Transitional serifs, which made their first appearance in the s. These typefaces had high stroke contrast and were more upright than their Old Style predecessors.

The natural evolution of the trends present in Transitional serif typefaces became known as the Modern serifs during the s. These Modern serifs include fonts like Didot and Bodoni. They have extreme contrast between strokes and no brackets on their serifs.

Early Typography by William Skeen

Slab serifs are the final evolution of the serif style. With the advent of mechanization e. They have little contrast between strokes and most are unbracketed. Above all, its analytical approach signalled a move away from letters derived traditionally from handwriting towards those that began to be perceived as products of mechanical processes and as component parts in visual systems. From the turn of the 19th century, increasing commercial competition required type to work harder on posters and hoardings in the dense, fast-moving environments of industrialised cities, where for the first time it had to shout in short bursts in order to compete for attention.

This resulted in a proliferation of many novel, bold faces, many of which were very short-lived. However, a few, such as the sans serif style, had a permanent influence on the development of visual communication. These even, heavy letters are thought to have originated in architectural lettering.

In the earliest days of the use of computers for text communications, Wim Crouwel decided that it was vital to create new letterforms for new technologies rather than developing the machines to conform to pre-existing design tropes. He created the New Alphabet to verify his proposition.

Radically innovative, it was intended as a provocation to designers to stimulate debate and to spark new ideas rather than to operate as a functioning typeface. Drawn using a systematic geometric construction method appropriate to the primitive hardware of the time, about half of the letters were easily recognisable, but others assumed a completely alien, unfamiliar appearance that seemed to imply an unforeseeable future for the appearance of text. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber. Please subscribe to sign in to comment. We use cookies to personalise content, target and report on ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic.

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Early Modernist Typography – The Bauhaus Fonts

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