Friday, 23 March 2012

Lecture 8: A History of type

A history of type:

visual communication - verbal communication > writing. 

Typography = meta-communication, paralinguistics, kinesics.

6 main classifications of type:
Old style
Slab serif
Sans serif

The x height:
In typography, the x-height or corpus size refers to the distance between the baseline and the mean line in a typeface. Typically, this is the height of the letter x in the font (the source of the term), as well as the uv,w, and z. (Curved letters such as acemnor and s tend to exceed the x-height slightly, due to overshoot.) However, in modern typography, the x-height is simply a design characteristic of the font, and while an xis usually exactly one x-height in height, in some more decorative or script designs, this may not always be the case.

Age of print:
Started around 1450, the term 'age of print' originated from media theorist Marshall Mcluhan.
Gutenburg's printing press:
was a German blacksmithgoldsmithprinter, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe. His invention of mechanical movable type printing started the Printing Revolution and is widely regarded as the most important event of the modern period.[1] It played a key role in the development of the RenaissanceReformation, the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.

Georfroy Tory (painter and designer) believed that proportions of the alphabet should reflect the ideal of the human form:

Known today for his book Champ Fleury, ‘wherein he explains and illustrates the theory governing his designs of Roman capitals.’ These designs, in the best Renaissance fashion, derive from human proportions, and such derivations are illustrated in the book, as in the latters A and H pictured above.

Figurative Alphabets:
Medieval manuscripts, the early wholly drawings work of - Giovannino de Grassi

 The Flotner alphabet:

The Baskerville typeface is the result of John Baskerville's intent to improve upon the types of William Caslon. He increased the contrast between thick and thin strokes, making the serifs sharper and more tapered, and shifted the axis of rounded letters to a more vertical position. The curved strokes are more circular in shape, and the characters became more regular. These changes created a greater consistency in size and form.
''Contemporaries accused him of blinding all the readers of the nation, for the strokes of his letters being to thin and narrow which hurt the human eye".

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