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Brief History of Typography:Past and Present

origins and progress of typography
by

barbara redd

on 20 November 2012

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Transcript of Brief History of Typography:Past and Present

Past and Present Brief OF HISTORY THE PICTURE WRITING PICTURE WRITING The first type of messages that we find in the history records were a series of pictures that told a story known as pictographs.

While cave paintings, dating as far back as 20,000 B.C. are the first evidence of recorded pictures, true written communication is thought to have been developed some 17,000 years later by the Sumerians, around 3500 B.C.

From pictographs developed more sophisticated ways of communicating through ideographs. Ideographs substituted symbols and abstractions for pictures of events. A symbol of a star represented the heavens or a peace pipe represented peace. Native Americans and Egyptians are examples of some folks who used ideographs. Chinese alphabets are still based on ideographs From ideographs developed a system pioneered by the Egyptians known as hieroglyphics. The Egyptians still used drawings to represent objects or ideas, but were the first to use objects to represent sounds.

By 3100 B.C., Egyptian hieroglyphics incorporated symbols representing thoughts or ideas, called ideograms, allowing for the expression of more abstract concepts than the more literal pictograms. A symbol for an ox could mean food, for example, or the symbol of a setting sun combined with the symbol for a man could communicate old age or death ANCIENT BEGINNINGS The Greeks adopted the Phoenician language and began to develop the true beginnings of our modern alphabet. The Greeks refined the Phoenician language by adding the first vowels (5 of them).

The next great civilization, the Romans further developed the alphabet by using 23 letters from the Etruscans who based their language on the Greek. 1200 BC -105 BCE Between 1600 - 1200 BC, the Phoenicians gained their independence from the Egyptians and developed their own alphabet that was the first to be composed exclusively of letters. The Phoenicians had developed symbols for spoken sounds, called phonograms. For example, their symbol for ox, which they called aleph, was used to represent the spoken sound “A” and beth, their symbol for house, represented the sound “B”. In addition to sounds, phonograms could also represent words. The earliest experiments with the alphabet are thought to be from the Middle East. The oldest script still in existence today is from the Chinese who also developed brushes, ink and paper in 105 BCE. They built upon their knowledge by developing printing blocks in which they carved symbols in pieces of wood, inked them and pressed them upon paper.

These inventions were passed along to the Japanese and Koreans and then to the Arabs.

By 1051, The Chinese put together a metal clay and wooden press. The Koreans further refined the printing process by developing movable metal type in 1234

Printing did not further evolved until 1455. TYPOGRAPHY: 15TH -19TH CENTURY 15th century – Johannes Gutenberg of Germany “perfected rather than invented the movable type, revolutionizing writing in the West. .His famous bible took the handmade manuscript as it model emulating the dark dense handwriting know as “black letter”.
16th century In 1557, Robert Granjon invented the first cursive typeface, which was built to simulate handwriting.

18th century Typography was influenced by new styles of handwriting and their engraved reproductions. In 1734, William Caslon issued the typeface bearing his name which included straighter serifs and greater contrasts between major and minor strokes.In 1757, John Baskerville introduced the first Transitional Roman which increased contrast between thick and thin strokes, had a nearly vertical stress in the counters and very sharp serifs.in 1780 Firmin Didot and Giambattista Bodoni of Italy developed the first Modern Romans. The moderns carry the transitionals to the extreme. Thin strokes are hairlines, plus a full vertical stress

. 19th century In 1815 Vincent Figgins designed a face with square serifs for the first time and this became known as the Egyptians or more recently as the Slab Serifs.In 1816 William Caslon IV produced the first typeface without serifs (sans serifs) of any kind, but it was ridiculed at the time. Goudy
Aa TYPOGRAPHY 20th - 21st CENTURY 1920s, - Frederic Goudy developed several innovative designs and became the world's first full time type designer. We owe the Broadway typeface to him.

1954, Max Miedinger, a Swiss artist created the most popular typeface of our time...Helvetica. The Swiss also championed the use of white space as a design element.

1967- Responding to the rise of electronic communication, Dutch designer Wim Crowell published designs for a “new alphabet” constructed using only straight lines. He designed it for optimal display on video screens (CRTs)

1980s - Personal computers and low-res printers put the tools of typography into the hands of a broader public.

1990s - Typeface designers leaves the world of perfection for a more harsher and caustic look. The look is “bent, scratched and bruised.”

2000s - Gotham was introduced by Tobias Frere Jones derived from letter found at the Port Authority bus terminal in New York. It has become the signature typeface for President Barack Obama presidential campaign in 2008. By 2009, typography First Family had over 50 weights and styles HISTORY of COMPUTER TYPEFACES Macintosh was the first commercially produced computer to showcase the concept of the Graphical User Interface (GUI). It also helped develop the concept of WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) printing. What you saw on the screen was similar to what you saw when you printed. The concept was developed at the Xerox Parc research center and pioneered by John Warnock and Chuck Geske, the founders of Adobe, Inc. Originally, the Macintosh came with ten bitmapped city-named fonts (New York, London, Monaco, Geneva, San Francisco, Venice, Chicago, Los Angeles, Athens, and Cairo). They were wonderful, but have not survived because they were only printable at one size.

Adobe invented Postscript which used mathematical calculations to describe typefaces instead of relying on pixel by pixel definitions of fonts.The original Laserwriter was developed by Adobe in 1985 and came with 13 fonts. It was developed in close association with Apple, and was in fact an Apple branded product, because the first Laserprinter worked only on Macintoshes. The first 13 fonts were: four variations of Times, Helvetica, Courier and one variation of Symbol. Afterwards, the Laserwriter Plus added 22 fonts for a total of 35 fonts. They included four variations of Times, Avante Garde, Bookman, New Century Schoolbook, Palatino, Courier, Helvetica, and Helvetica Narow. Plus Zapf Chancery Medium, Symbol, and Zapf Dingbats. This was a great group of typefaces which dramatically affected typeface choices for years to come. KINETIC TYPOGRAPHY TYPOGRAPHY 105 BCE – 15th CENTURY Lupton, E. (2004). Thinking with type. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press.

Straubhaar, J., LaRose, R., Davenport, L. (2010). Media now: Understanding media, culture, and technology. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

History of typography for graphic designers and graphic artists. Retrieved November 8, 2012, from http://planetoftheweb.com/components/promos.php?id=174

History of western typography. (November 5 2012). Retrieved November 7 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Western_typography

Simpson, James (2012, October 28). Clint Eastwood, Dirty harry –kinetic typography. [Video file]. Retrieved from REFERENCES
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