Part III: Typography

• The Hierarchy of Typography

• Anatomy of Type

• A Brief History of Type
• Choosing Appropriate type
• Tools for emphasis and legibility

• TRY IT: 10 minute Headline
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  • The design of type began with early cuneiform images carved into stone or painted on cave walls.

  • The tradition expanded into blackletter calligraphy in the middle ages, then flourished in the industrial age with the development of Roman (serif) and then Gothic (san serif) letterforms.

  • Now, with the advent of PCs, anyone can create a typeface; there are literally thousands available. But that doesn't mean they are all GOOD.

Serif fonts

  • Serif fonts are marked by little 'feet' that extend from the stem of the letter. All fonts were Roman (serif) until the 20th century. Serifs say tradition, elegance, formal. Serifs enable reading of large blocks of printed text, hence most books, magazines, etc. use it for body text. Types of serif fonts:

  • Old Style. With some of the earliest fonts, the serifs flow out in simple, graceful curves. Examples: Caslon, Caxton, Garamond, Goudy, Oldstyle, Palatino, Early Roman.

  • Transitional: Smaller curves connect the serifs. Examples: Baskerville, Century, Tiffany, Times.

  • Modern: The stems are thick and the serifs thin, contrasting with each other. Example: Bodoni.

  • Egyptian: Slab serifs. Thick. Think Circus, Westerns. Examples: Clarenden, Lubalin, Memphis.

comparing types of type (11)
Sans Serif
  • No 'feet.' Clean, simple lines, less traditional looking. Hugely popular in the mid-century Swiss design movement. Examples: Helvetica, Univers, Futura, Avant Garde. Gill Sans.

  • Studies show that reading on-screen is easier with sans-serif typefaces. So designers have been charged with creating new, easy to read styles for Web use: Verdana, Arial, and Trebuchet are a few.

Display/Decorative (or everything else under the sun):

  • Script: calligraphic (think Wedding invitations), roundhand (think cursive, with conected letters), and brush (Think brush painting). Examples: Brush, Zapf Chancery, Commercial Script.

  • Decorative: This category includes everything from historical styles such as Art nouveau and Art Deco to high tech to wacko and fun to creepy. Choose with caution. Examples: Balloon, Klang, Lithos.

A detailed History of Typography
Best fonts for screen display (hot metal>top ten)

next: Choosing appropriate type