Class 2 – The History of Typography

Let’s review some of the things we learned during our second session:

The Five Families of Type

Old Style – Garamond
Transitional – Baskerville
Modern – Bodoni
Egyptian or Slab Serif – Century Expanded
Sans Serif – Helvetica
Download class notes

Typographical Anatomy

This document was handed out in class, but if you need a new copy, you may download from here. You should study this sheet and refer to it often throughout the course.

During class we reviewed some of the parts of letterforms. Here are a few terms introduced during class. Make sure you know these and begin using them in your typography references:

  • points – unit of measurement in typography: 72 points = 1 inch. All type is measured in points.
  • leading – refers to the linespace between the┬álines of type. The term originated in the days of metal type. During hand-typesetting, thin strips of lead were inserted into the lines of type to increase the distance.
  • sans serif – a typeface that does not have serifs.
  • font – one weight, width or style of a typeface.
  • typeface – the letters, numbers and symbols that make up a design of type. A typeface is part of a type family of coordinated designs. For example, Helvetica Bold is the typeface and is a part of the Helvetica family of type (Helvetica is the type family, Helvetica Bold is the typeface).
  • type family – the full collection of typefaces that were designed together and intended to be used together. For example, Garamond font family consists of roman, italics, semi bold, and bold weights. Combined together, these make up the Garamond type family.

Homework – Due Monday┬á2/8/16

  • Complete the Letterform Drawings for next Monday. Read the notes on each page and be neat in your presentation.
  • Reading Assignment in textbook: Basics pgs 1-15 & Development pgs 16-50 (If you haven’t been able to get your book yet, Derek posted a link to a PDF of the book which can be found here.
  • Please bring your tracing pads and pens and other materials for class.

Here are some videos to help with this lesson:

Type Anatomy and Terminology

Short Letterpress Documentary

After watching the two videos, share your thoughts on the evolution of typography in the comments below.