Super Brief History of Typography

There are 3 elements in a traditional graphic design:

Image, Type, and Space.

What made the mac successful?, Its Ease of use and a friendlier interface, but also the first computer that could output typefaces. Steve Jobs had taken typography courses at his high school that he dropped out of, but he remembered those lessons.

Before type, there was lettering, which is hand-drawn. Illuminated manuscripts are handwritten books with some illustrated decorations (illuminated) with gold, silver, or brilliant colors.

The type itself is a machine reproduction, weather by metal type bits or a screen. Lettering evolved over 100’s of years in the Middle East, around where Irak is now.

In 1450 Gutenberg build the first printing press in Germany that made a reproduction of text rapidly reproduced, and knowledge and literacy spread through Europe to many members of society. The Gutenberg Bible is the first substantial book printed in the West with moveable metal type. The type used by Gutenberg resembles a formal kind of contemporary handwriting known as “Textura” because its pronounced vertical and horizontal lines give the impression of the texture of a woven pattern across the page.
The first typefaces were made as imposters of handwritten manuscripts known as Fraktur.

From 1450 to about 1700 this type is known as Old type.

Modern typefaces after 1700 had more geometry. Didot and Bodoni. This was also possible through better printing presses and better paper. The Renaissance was also more enlightened and stylish.

Until the nineteenth century, printers completed each step of printing by hand, just as they did in Gutenberg’s printshop. As the technology evolved, inventors adapted these new technologies to revolutionize printing. Steam engines and, later, electrical motors were incorporated into the design of printing presses. In the 1970s, computers were integrated into the printing process.

With the invention of the rotary press, large newspapers could print 8000 copies per hour.

In the nineteenth century, the industrial revolution created a growing advertising industry. After the war, every convention could be re-thought and re-invented, and the post-modern design and typography are still all around us.

Mechanical Composition

Until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, all type was set and composed by hand, as in Gutenberg’s workshop. Monotype and Linotype machines changed the printing process because they used mechanical means of setting type, which was much more efficient than hand composition.
In a Linotype machine, an operator would type on a keyboard similar to a typewriter, which produced a perforated band of paper. The band was then decoded by a mechanism that cast type from hot metal. These machines cast a whole row of type at a time, so if an operator made an error, it meant the entire line would have to be retyped and recast.
Invented in 1889, the Monotype machine worked much like the Linotype machine. A monotype operator would similarly type out a text. Each keystroke produced a perforated tape. The operator then tore off the tape and ran it through a separate casting machine, which created a mold containing matrices for each character. Monotype had the advantage of being easier to correct because it was possible to remove a single letter of type, rather than having to recast a whole row of type. Monotype also produced a more delicate quality type, so it was frequently used in the book trade, while linotype was often used at newspaper presses because of its speed and economy.
These days it became most economical for small runs to print digitally because it doesn’t require any films and plates to be exposed.

Back to Graphic Design Course Material Main

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.