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Typography - Week 1

This week we are going to look at the origin of the alphabet as well as cover a brief history of type development

Biljana Kroll

on 22 August 2013

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Transcript of Typography - Week 1

What is Typography?
Alphabet Origins
Illuminated Manuscripts
The Gutenberg Bible
Evolution of Type
Masters of Typography
Typography and Industrial Revolution
Typography Styles
What is Typography?
Alphabet Origins
Week 1 Introduction
Ty`pog´ra`phy (noun) -
1. The act or art of expressing by means of types or symbols; emblematical or hieroglyphic representation.
"Typography - Definition of Typography by Webster's Online Dictionary." Online Dictionary. Web. 04 June 2011. <http://www.webster-dictionary.org/definition/Typography>.
Formally Speaking...
Less Formally Speaking...
Art of designing type and designing with type
It is a living thing that continues to grow and change
Type can be invisible*, expressive, entertaining, challenging, outrageous or simply fine art.
What Others Say...
* When done RIGHT, your Typography will most likely be invisible to most people...
“Typography is the art of designing with type...It is a living thing that continues to grow...Type can be ‘invisible,’ expressive, entertaining, challenging, outrageous or simply fine art. “
“Typographical design should perform optically what the speaker creates through voice and gesture of his thoughts.”
“We know from experience that what we have to say is much easier for others to understand if we put it in the right voice; type is that voice, the visible language linking writer and reader.”
“ Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form, and thus with an independent existence. Its heartwood is calligraphy - the dance, on a tiny stage, of the living, speaking hand - and its roots reach into living soil, though its branches may be hung each year with new machines. So long as the root lives, typography remains a source of true delight, true knowledge, true surprise.”
“ Design is solving problems. Graphic design is solving problems by making marks. Type is uniquely rich set of marks because it makes language visible. Working successfully with type is essential for effective graphic design.”
“Typography is two-dimensional architecture, based on experience and imagination, and guided by rules and readability. And this is the purpose of typography: The arrangement of design elements within a given structure should allow the reader to easily focus on the message, without slowing down the speed of his reading.”
— James Craig & Irene Korol Scala, authors of “Designing with Type.”1
— El Lizzitsky, a Russian artist, designer, photographer, typographer, polemicist and architect.
— Erik Spiekermann & E.M.Ginger, authors of “Stop stealing Sheep And Find Out How Type Works.” 2
— Robert Bringhurst, author or “The Elements of Typographic Style.” 3
— John Kane, author of “A Type Primer.” 4
— Hermann Zapf, a German typeface designer
In the beginning...
These are basic images that show a symbol of an object. The earliest writings on cave walls were exact representations of the world around the people that created them. With time these images became more and more simplified ultimately representing symbols of the real thing.
These are symbols that represent ideas instead of objects. They communicate abstract thoughts rather than actual objects. Pictographs became ideographs, for example, the symbol for sun began representing the idea of “day” and “light.”
Writing evolved...
Illuminated Manuscripts
What are they?
Why are they important?
The illuminated manuscripts were hand-written and hand-illustrated sacred writings created in Europe in the period from 1200-1400s.
They were created by monks in monasteries.
They are called “illuminated” because of the gold leaf that was used to embellish the lettering and the page margins.
Demonstrates rise of typography in the early ages
Shows example of typography not only as a means of relaying information...but being used for beautiful artistic expression
Some More Examples...
Gutenberg Bible
Any Questions or Comments?
What is the Gutenberg Bible?
Created by Johannes Gutenberg in Germany in the 1450s
One of the first books created on movable type printing press
Gave birth to modern printed book
What if I wanted to buy one in the 1450s?
It costed about 3-years wages for a clerk
Even at that cost it was still cheaper than other bibles at the time which where hand-written
It had wide margins to allow room for illuminated decoration
Where can I get one now?
There are only about 21 complete copies in existence
One of the most valuable books in the world*
Johannes Gutenberg
Evolution of Type
A rough outline of the evolution of type....
What can we learn from this?
It took centuries to get to what we have right now
Number of letters and style evolved with time
When we wrote on stone, letters were more geometric. Serifs developed from chisel marks
When we wrote on parchment, more flowing styles develop (italic)
Capitalization of letters became the standard with Carolingian type in the 1200s
Masters of Typography
Industrial Revolution
Typography Styles
William Caslon
John Baskerville
George Bickham
Was an English writing master and engraver.
Best known for his engraving work in The Universal Penman, a collection of writing exemplars which helped to popularise the English Round Hand script in the 18th century.
1692 –1766)
Was an English gunsmith and designer of typefaces.
Founded the Caslon Foundry at around 1720, which became the leading English typefoundry of the 18th century.
For nearly 60 years, all English printing featured Caslon fonts.
1706 – 1775
Was an English printer and typographer.
Baskerville was responsible for significant innovations in printing, paper and ink production.
He developed a technique which produced a smoother whiter paper which showcased his strong black type.
Baskerville also pioneered a completely new style of typography adding wide margins and leading (space) between each line.
About the Industrial Revolution...
Period of great change and technological advances in the 19th century
With mass-production increasing, the need for fast, easy communication through flyers posters and newspapers arose.
How did this affect typography?
Posters became very popular and brought few major changes in typography:
Large font sizes became available
sans-serif fonts are created
slab-serif fonts are created.
Elaborate, what we call today Victorian style fonts, were all the rage.
Art Nouveau
Art Deco
Started in the 1890s
Fluid, Elaborate, Flowing.
Popular in 1920s/30s
Clean, Simple, Geometric and regal
Inspired by Egyptian artifacts found during period
Popularized in early 1900s
Very geometric
Pioneered by Pablo Picasso
Movement during WWI as a response to the war
Led by artists, poets, writers
Rejection of rules, meant to shock and protest (anti-art)
Words in various sizes and typefaces are randomly scattered around the page creating almost a rhythmic movement.
Rose in Russia, after World War I and the Russian Revolution.
New unity between art and technology to benefit society.
Pioneered by El Lissitzky. His work was marked by high contrast color, diagonal compositions and by engaging the negative space.
UNCIAL is a majuscule script (written entirely in capital letters) commonly used from the 3rd to 8th centuries AD by Latin and Greek scribes. It was written with reed pen. Ascenders and descenders were the first major alterations, followed by twists of the tool in the basic stroke and overlapping.
CAROLINGIAN or Caroline MINISCULE is a script developed as a writing standard in Europe between approximately 800 and 1200. Clear capital letters and spaces between words—norms we take for granted—became standard in Carolingian minuscule. 1
FRAKTUR is a notable script of the blackletter type, and sometimes the entire group of faces is known as Fraktur. Blackletter is sometimes called Old English, or Gothic letter. This type of writing was quicker to produce and took up less space than Carolingian.
HUMANIST minuscule is a handwriting or style of script that was invented in secular circles in Italy, at the beginning of the fifteenth century. (Italic type: a cursive typeface based on a stylized form of calligraphic handwriting).
NOTE: In the 17th century engraving became popular. Engraving is drawing with a graver instead of a pen, on a smooth copper- plate. Flourishes and swirls typical of the Rococo style are evident in the Bickham script.
NOTE: Benjamin Franklin introduced Caslon into the American colonies, where it was used extensively, including for the official printing of the Declaration of Independence by a Baltimore printer.
Why Should You Care?
History can offer a plethora of inspiration for young graphic designers. These major styles have inspired many type designers throughout the 70’s (psychadelic posters), 80’s (decontructed type), 90’s (heavy metal album covers) as well as today (wedding invitation scripts, branding and packaging).
A stylized picture of an object representing a word, syllable, or sound, as found in ancient Egyptian and other writing systems
The process of making paper and printing
More examples at:
The Morgan Library and Museum
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