Typographical symbols
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Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make
written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it must be taught to children, who will pick up spoken language or sign language by exposure even i ...
legible,
readable
readable
and
appealing
appealing
when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting
typeface A typeface is the design of lettering Lettering is an umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...

typeface
s, point sizes,
line length In typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by hu ...
s, line-spacing (
leading In typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by ...

leading
), and
letter-spacing Examples of headline letter-spacing In typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assembled on a composing stick using pieces that are stored in the type case shown below it Typography is the art and technique of type ...
(tracking), as well as adjusting the space between pairs of letters (
kerning In typography, kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. Kerning adjusts the space between individual letterforms, while tracking (letter-spac ...

kerning
). The term ''typography'' is also applied to the style, arrangement, and appearance of the letters, numbers, and symbols created by the process.
Type design Type design is the art and process of designing typeface A typeface is the design of lettering Lettering is an umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of e ...
is a closely related craft, sometimes considered part of typography; most typographers do not design typefaces, and some type designers do not consider themselves typographers. Typography also may be used as an ornamental and decorative device, unrelated to the communication of information. Typography is the work of
typesetters on a composing stick on a type case. , letter founder, from the 1728 edition of ''Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, Cyclopaedia''. . Typesetting is the composition of Written language, text by means of arranging physic ...
(also known as compositors), typographers,
graphic designer A graphic designer is a professional within the graphic design and graphic arts industry who assembles together images, typography, or motion graphics to create a piece of design. A graphic designer creates the graphics primarily for published me ...

graphic designer
s,
art director Art director is the title for a variety of similar job functions in theater Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art The performing arts are arts such as music, dance, and drama which are performed for an audience. ...
s,
manga artist A manga artist (or in Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...
s,
comic book artist A cartoonist (also comic strip creator, comic book artist, graphic novel artist, or comic book illustrator) is a visual artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art, practicing the arts, or demonstrating an art. T ...
s, and, now, anyone who arranges words, letters, numbers, and symbols for publication, display, or distribution, from
clerical worker A clerk ( or ) is a white-collar worker who conducts general office tasks, or a worker who performs similar sales-related tasks in a retail environment. The responsibilities of clerical workers commonly include record keeping, filing, staffing ser ...
s and newsletter writers to anyone self-publishing materials. Until the
Digital Age#REDIRECT Information Age The Information Age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age) is a historical periodHuman history is commonly divided into three main Era, eras — Ancient history, Ancient, Post-classical history, ...
, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of previously unrelated designers and lay users. As the capability to create typography has become ubiquitous, the application of principles and best practices developed over generations of skilled workers and professionals has diminished. Thus, at a time when scientific techniques can provide evidence that supports established practice (
legibility Legibility is the ease with which a reader can decode symbols. In addition to written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it ...
or
brand recognition Brand awareness is the extent to which customers are able to recall or recognize a brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands ...
achieved through the appropriate use of
serif In typography, a serif () is a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a larger stroke in a letter or symbol within a particular font or family of fonts. A typeface or "font family" making use of serifs is called a serif typeface ( ...

serif
s,
letter case Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or ...
,
letter form A letterform, letter-form or letter form, is a term used especially in typography, paleography, calligraphy and epigraphy to mean a letter (alphabet), letter's shape. A letterform is a type of glyph, which is a specific, concrete way of writing an ...
s, contrast, spacing, etc.) through understanding the limitations of human vision, typography may be encountered that fails to achieve its principal objective: effective communication.


Etymology

The word "typography" in English comes from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
roots ('impression') and ('writing').


History

Although typically applied to printed, published, broadcast, and reproduced materials in contemporary times, all words, letters, symbols, and numbers written alongside the earliest naturalistic drawings by humans may be called typography. The word, ''typography'', is derived from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
words τύπος ''typos'' "form" or "impression" and γράφειν ''graphein'' "to write", traces its origins to the first punches and dies used to make
seals Seals may refer to: * Pinniped Pinnipeds (pronounced ), commonly known as seals, are a widely and diverse of , -footed, , mostly s. They comprise the (whose only living member is the ), (the eared seals: s and s), and (the earless sea ...
and
currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services ...

currency
in
ancient times Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
"History"
from t ...

ancient times
, which ties the concept to printing. The uneven spacing of the impressions on brick stamps found in the
Mesopotamian Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a of situated within the , in the northern part of the . Mesopotamia occupies most of presen ...

Mesopotamian
cities of
Uruk Uruk, also known as Warka, was an ancient city of (and later of ) situated east of the present bed of the River on the dried-up ancient channel of the Euphrates east of modern , , .Harmansah, 2007 Uruk is the for the . Uruk played a leading ...
and
Larsa Larsa (Sumerian logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures ...
, dating from the second millennium B.C., may be evidence of type, wherein the reuse of identical characters was applied to create cuneiform text. Babylonian
cylinder seal . Linescan camera image (reversed to resemble an impression). A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder, typically about one inch (2 to 3 cm) in length, engraved with written characters or figurative scenes or both, used in ancient times to ...
s were used to create an impression on a surface by rolling the seal on wet clay. Typography was also implemented in the
Phaistos Disc The Phaistos Disc (also spelled Phaistos Disk, Phaestos Disc) is a disk of fired clay from the Minoan palace of Phaistos on the island of Crete, possibly dating to the middle or late Minoan Bronze Age (second millennium B.C.). The disk is ab ...
, an enigmatic
Minoan The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands, flourishing from c. 3000 BC to c. 1450 BC and, after a late period of decline, finally ending around 1100 BC, during the early Greek Da ...
printed item from
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
, which dates to between 1850 and 1600 B.C. It has been proposed that
Roman lead pipe inscription A Roman lead pipe inscription is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through th ...
s were created with movable type printing, but German typographer Herbert Brekle recently dismissed this view. The essential criterion of type identity was met by
medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...

medieval
print artifacts such as the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
Pruefening Abbey inscription of 1119 that was created by the same technique as the Phaistos Disc. The silver altarpiece of patriarch Pellegrinus II (1195–1204) in the cathedral of
Cividale Cividale del Friuli ( fur, Cividât (locally ); german: Östrich; sl, Čedad) is a town and ''comune'' in the Province of Udine, part of the Northern Italy, North-Italian Friuli Venezia Giulia ''regione''. The town lies above sea-level in the foo ...

Cividale
was printed with individual letter punches. Apparently, the same printing technique may be found in tenth to twelfth century
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
reliquaries A reliquary (also referred to as a ''shrine'', by the French term ''châsse'', and historically including ''wikt:phylactery, phylacteries'') is a container for relics. A portable reliquary may be called a ''fereter'', and a chapel in which it is ...

reliquaries
. Other early examples include individual letter tiles where the words are formed by assembling single letter tiles in the desired order, which were reasonably widespread in medieval Northern Europe. Typography with
movable type Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system and technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of a ...
was invented during the eleventh-century
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
in China by
Bi Sheng Bi Sheng and his invention at Beijing Printing Museum Bì Shēng (畢昇 972–1051 AD) was a Chinese artisan, engineer, and inventor of the world's first movable type Movable type (US English; moveable type in British English) is the system ...
(990–1051). His movable type system was manufactured from ceramic materials, and clay type printing continued to be practiced in China until the
Qing Dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
. Wang Zhen was one of the pioneers of wooden movable type. Although the wooden type was more durable under the mechanical rigors of handling, repeated printing wore the character faces down and the types could be replaced only by carving new pieces. Metal movable type was first invented in Korea during the
Goryeo Dynasty Goryeo (; ) was a Korea Korea (officially the "Korean Peninsula") is a region in East Asia. Since 1945 it has been Division of Korea, divided into the two parts which soon became the two sovereign states: North Korea (officially the "Dem ...
, approximately 1230. Hua Sui introduced bronze type printing to China in 1490 AD. The diffusion of both movable-type systems was limited and the technology did not spread beyond East and Central Asia, however. Modern lead-based movable type, along with the mechanical
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an ink Ink is a gel, sol, or solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in wate ...
, is most often attributed to the goldsmith
Johannes Gutenberg Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (; – 3 February 1468) was a German inventor, printer (publisher), printer, publisher, and goldsmith who introduced printing to Europe with his mechanical movable type, movable-type printing press ...

Johannes Gutenberg
in 1439. His type pieces, made from a
lead Lead is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elements ...

lead
-based
alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in ...
, suited printing purposes so well that the alloy is still used today.. Gutenberg developed specialized techniques for casting and combining cheap copies of letter punches in the vast quantities required to print multiple copies of texts. This technical breakthrough was instrumental in starting the
Printing Revolution Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and Printmaking, images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving printing include cylinder seals and objects such as the Cyrus Cylinder and the Cylinders of Nabon ...
and the first book printed with lead-based movable type was the
Gutenberg Bible The Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible, the Mazarin Bible or the B42) was the earliest major book printed using mass-produced movable metal type in Europe. It marked the start of the " Gutenberg Revolution" and the age of printed ...

Gutenberg Bible
. Rapidly advancing technology revolutionized typography in the latter twentieth century. During the 1960s some camera-ready typesetting could be produced in any office or workshop with stand-alone machines such as those introduced by
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the C ...

IBM
(see:
IBM Selectric typewriter The IBM Selectric typewriter was a highly successful line of electric typewriter File:Typewriter.ogv, Video showing the operation of a typewriter A typewriter is a machine, mechanical or electromechanical machine for typing characters. T ...

IBM Selectric typewriter
). During the same period
Letraset Letraset was a company known mainly for manufacturing sheets of typefaces and other artwork elements that can be transferred to artwork being prepared. Letraset has been acquired by the Colart group and become part of its subsidiary Winsor & N ...
introduced
Dry transfer The dry transfer technique was used in lettering sheets made by Letraset (left) and other companies (right). Dry transfers (also called rub-ons or rubdowns) are decals that can be applied without the use of water or other solvent A solvent (fr ...
technology that allowed designers to transfer types instantly. The famous Lorem Ipsum gained popularity due to its usage in
Letraset Letraset was a company known mainly for manufacturing sheets of typefaces and other artwork elements that can be transferred to artwork being prepared. Letraset has been acquired by the Colart group and become part of its subsidiary Winsor & N ...
. During the mid-1980s personal computers such as the
Macintosh The Macintosh (mainly Mac since 1998) is a family of personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be op ...

Macintosh
allowed type designers to create typefaces digitally using commercial graphic design software. Digital technology also enabled designers to create more experimental typefaces as well as the practical typefaces of traditional typography. Designs for typefaces could be created faster with the new technology, and for more specific functions. The cost for developing typefaces was drastically lowered, becoming widely available to the masses. The change has been called the "democratization of type" and has given new designers more opportunities to enter the field.


Evolution

The design of typefaces has developed alongside the development of
typesetting on a composing stick on a type case. , letter founder, from the 1728 edition of '' Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, Cyclopaedia''. . Typesetting is the composition of Written language, text by means of arranging ph ...
systems. Although typography has evolved significantly from its origins, it is a largely conservative art that tends to cleave closely to tradition. This is because
legibility Legibility is the ease with which a reader can decode symbols. In addition to written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it ...
is paramount, and so the typefaces that are the most readable usually are retained. In addition, the evolution of typography is inextricably intertwined with
lettering Lettering is an umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every asp ...

lettering
by hand and related art forms, especially formal styles, which thrived for centuries preceding typography, and so the evolution of typography must be discussed with reference to this relationship. In the nascent stages of European
printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images An Synthetic aperture radar, SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour shows the Teide volcano. The city of Santa Cru ...

printing
, the typeface (
blackletter Blackletter (sometimes black letter), also known as Gothic script, Gothic minuscule, or Textura, was a script used throughout Western Europe from approximately 1150 until the 17th century. It continued to be commonly used for the Danish languag ...

blackletter
, or Gothic) was designed in imitation of the popular hand-lettering styles of
scribes A scribe is a person who serves as a professional copyist A copyist is a person who makes copies. The term is sometimes used for artists who make copies of other artists' paintings. However, the modern use of the term is almost entirely con ...
. Initially, this typeface was difficult to read, because each letter was set in place individually and made to fit tightly into the allocated space. The art of manuscript writing, whose origin was during Hellenistic and Roman bookmaking, reached its zenith in the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. Metal typefaces notably altered the style, making it "crisp and uncompromising", and also brought about "new standards of composition". During the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
period in France,
Claude Garamond Claude Garamond Claude Garamont (–1561), known commonly as Claude Garamond, was a French type designer, publisher and punch-cutter based in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inha ...
was partially responsible for the adoption of Roman typeface that eventually supplanted the more commonly used Gothic (blackletter). Roman typeface also was based on hand-lettering styles.
Roman type In Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is a set of graphic signs (Writing system#General properties, script) based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet. This is derived from a form of the Cumae alphabet, Cumaean Gre ...
The development of Roman typeface can be traced back to Greek lapidary letters. Greek lapidary letters were carved into stone and "one of the first formal uses of Western letterforms"; after that, Roman lapidary letterforms evolved into the monumental capitals, which laid the foundation for Western typographical design, especially
serif In typography, a serif () is a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a larger stroke in a letter or symbol within a particular font or family of fonts. A typeface or "font family" making use of serifs is called a serif typeface ( ...

serif
typefaces. There are two styles of Roman typefaces: the old style, and the modern. The former is characterized by its similarly weighted lines, while the latter is distinguished by its contrast of light and heavy lines. Often, these styles are combined. By the twentieth century, computers turned typeface design into a rather simplified process. This has allowed the number of typefaces and styles to proliferate exponentially, as there now are thousands available. Unfortunately, confusion between
typeface A typeface is the design of lettering Lettering is an umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...

typeface
and
font In metal A metal (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...

font
(the various styles of a single typeface) occurred in 1984 when
Steve Jobs Steven Paul Jobs (; February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American business magnate A business magnate is someone who has achieved great success and enormous wealth through the ownership of multiple lines of enterprise. The term ...

Steve Jobs
mislabeled typefaces as fonts for Apple computers and his error has been perpetuated throughout the computer industry, leading to common misuse by the public of the term "font" when typeface is the proper term.


Experimental typeface uses

"Experimental typography" is defined as the unconventional and more artistic approach to typeface selection.
Francis Picabia Francis Picabia (: born Francis-Marie Martinez de Picabia; 22January 1879 – 30November 1953) was a French avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or '', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, , or uno ...

Francis Picabia
was a
Dada Dada () or Dadaism was an art movement An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a specific period of time, (usually a few months, years or decades) or, at ...

Dada
pioneer of this practice in the early twentieth century. David Carson is often associated with this movement, particularly for his work in '' Ray Gun'' magazine in the 1990s. His work caused an uproar in the design community due to his abandonment of standard practices in typeface selection, layout, and design. Experimental typography is said to place emphasis on expressing emotion, rather than having a concern for legibility while communicating ideas, hence considered bordering on being art.


Techniques

There are many facets to the expressive use of typography, and with those come many different techniques to help with visual aid and the graphic design. Spacing and kerning, size-specific spacing, x-height and vertical proportions, character variation, width, weight, and contrast, are several techniques that are necessary to be taken into consideration when thinking about the appropriateness of specific typefaces or creating them. When placing two or more differing and/or contrasting fonts together, these techniques come into play for organizational strategies and demanding attractive qualities. For example, if the bulk of a title has a more unfamiliar or unusual font, simpler sans-serif fonts will help complement the title while attracting more attention to the piece as a whole.


Scope

In contemporary use, the practice and study of typography include a broad range, covering all aspects of letter design and application, both mechanical (
typesetting on a composing stick on a type case. , letter founder, from the 1728 edition of '' Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, Cyclopaedia''. . Typesetting is the composition of Written language, text by means of arranging ph ...
,
type design Type design is the art and process of designing typeface A typeface is the design of lettering Lettering is an umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of e ...
, and typefaces) and manual (
handwriting Handwriting is the writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing systems are not themselves human languages (with the debatable exception of computer languag ...

handwriting
and
calligraphy Calligraphy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

calligraphy
). Typographical elements may appear in a wide variety of situations, including: *
Document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictional, as well as fictional, content. The word originates from the Latin ''Documentum'', whic ...

Document
s *
Presentation A presentation conveys information from a speaker to an audience An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an a ...

Presentation
s * Display typography (described below) *
Clothing Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long ...

Clothing
*
Maps A map is a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meani ...

Maps
and
labels A label (as distinct from signage Signage is the design or use of signs and symbols to communicate a message. A signage also means signs ''collectively'' or being considered as a group. The term ''signage'' is documented to have been popula ...
* * As a component of
industrial design Industrial design is a process of design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototyp ...

industrial design
—type on household appliances,
pen A pen is a common writing instrument A writing implement or writing instrument is an object used to produce writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing sy ...

pen
s, and
wristwatches A watch is a portable Clock, timepiece intended to be carried or worn by a person. It is designed to keep a consistent movement despite the motions caused by the person's activities. A wristwatch is designed to be worn around the wrist, attache ...

wristwatches
, for example * As a component in modern poetry (see, for example, the poetry of
e. e. cummings Edward Estlin Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962), often styled as e e cummings, as he is attributed in many of his published works, was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. He wrote approximat ...
) Since digitization, typographical uses have spread to a wider range of applications, appearing on
web page A web page (or webpage) is a hypertext Hypertext is text displayed on a or other with references () to other text that the reader can immediately access. Hypertext documents are interconnected by hyperlinks, which are typically acti ...

web page
s,
LCD A liquid-crystal display (LCD) is a flat-panel display A flat-panel display (FPD) is an electronic display device s, LED display and Vacuum fluorescent display, VF display, top to bottom. A display device is an output device for presentation ...
mobile phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the tra ...

mobile phone
screens, and hand-held
video game#REDIRECT Video game A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface or input device such as a joystick, game controller, controller, computer keyboard, keyboard, or motion sensing device to generate visual f ...
s.


Text typefaces

Traditionally, text is ''composed'' to create a readable, coherent, and visually satisfying typeface that works invisibly, without the awareness of the reader. Even distribution of typeset material, with a minimum of distractions and anomalies, aims to produce clarity and transparency. Choice of typeface(s) is the primary aspect of text typography—
prose Prose is a form of written or spoken language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions ...

prose
fiction Fiction is any creative work A creative work is a manifestation of creativity, creative effort including Work of art, fine artwork (sculpture, paintings, drawing, Sketch (drawing), sketching, performance art), dance, writing (literature), filmm ...

fiction
,
non-fiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document or content (media), media content that intends, in good faith, to present only truth and accuracy regarding information, events, or people. Nonfictional content may be presented either Objecti ...
, editorial, educational, religious, scientific, spiritual, and commercial writing all have differing characteristics and requirements of appropriate typefaces (and their fonts or styles). For historic material, established text typefaces frequently are chosen according to a scheme of historical ''genre'' acquired by a long process of accretion, with considerable overlap among historical periods. Contemporary books are more likely to be set with state-of-the-art "text romans" or "book romans" typefaces with
serif In typography, a serif () is a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a larger stroke in a letter or symbol within a particular font or family of fonts. A typeface or "font family" making use of serifs is called a serif typeface ( ...

serif
s and design values echoing present-day design arts, which are closely based on traditional models such as those of
Nicolas Jenson Nicholas Jenson (c. 1420 – 1480) was a French engraver, pioneer, printer and type designer who carried out most of his work in Venice, Italy Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, I ...
,
Francesco GriffoFrancesco Griffo (1450–1518), also called Francesco da Bologna, was a fifteenth-century Italian punchcutter. He worked for Aldus Manutius Aldus Pius Manutius (; it, Aldo Pio Manuzio; 1449/14526 February 1515) was an Italian humanist, scholar ...
(a punchcutter who created the model for Aldine typefaces), and
Claude Garamond Claude Garamond Claude Garamont (–1561), known commonly as Claude Garamond, was a French type designer, publisher and punch-cutter based in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inha ...
. With their more specialized requirements, newspapers and magazines rely on compact, tightly fitted styles of text typefaces with serifs specially designed for the task, which offer maximum flexibility, readability, legibility, and efficient use of page space. Sans serif text typefaces (without serifs) often are used for introductory paragraphs, incidental text, and whole short articles. A current fashion is to pair a
sans-serif In typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by ...
typeface for headings with a high-performance serif typeface of matching style for the text of an article. Typesetting conventions are modulated by
orthography An orthography is a set of conventions for writing Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions b ...
and
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

linguistics
, word structures, word frequencies,
morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines *Morphology (archaeology) In archaeology, morphology is the study of the shape of Artifact (archaeology), artefacts and ecofacts. Morphology is a major consid ...
,
phonetic Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) an ...

phonetic
constructs and linguistic
syntax In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...

syntax
. Typesetting conventions also are subject to specific cultural conventions. For example, in it is customary to insert a
non-breaking space In word processing In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of lin ...
before a
colon Colon commonly refers to: * Colon (punctuation) (:), a punctuation mark * Major part of large intestine, the final section of the digestive system Colon may also refer to: Places * Colon, Michigan, US * Colon, Nebraska, US * Kowloon, Hong Kong, s ...

colon
(:) or
semicolon The semicolon or semi-colon is a symbol commonly used as orthographic punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to ...

semicolon
(;) in a sentence, while in
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
it is not.


Color

In typesetting, ''color'' is the overall density of the ink on the page, determined mainly by the typeface, but also by the word spacing,
leading In typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by ...

leading
, and depth of the margins. Text layout, tone, or color of the set text, and the interplay of text with the white space of the page in combination with other graphic elements impart a "feel" or "resonance" to the subject matter. With
printed Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and Printmaking, images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving printing include cylinder seals and objects such as the Cyrus Cylinder and the Cylinders of Nabo ...
media, typographers also are concerned with binding margins, paper selection, and printing methods when determining the correct color of the page.


Principles of the typographic craft

Three fundamental aspects of typography are ''
legibility Legibility is the ease with which a reader can decode symbols. In addition to written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it ...
'', ''
readability Readability is the ease with which a reader can understand a written text. In natural language, the readability of text depends on its content (the complexity of its vocabulary A vocabulary, also known as a wordstock or word-stock, is a ...

readability
'', and ''aesthetics''. Although in a non-technical sense "legible" and "readable" are often used synonymously, typographically they are separate but related concepts. Legibility and readability tend to support aesthetic aspects of a product. ''Legibility'' describes how easily individual characters can be distinguished from one another. It is described by Walter Tracy as "the quality of being decipherable and recognisable". For instance, if a "b" and an "h", or a "3" and an "8", are difficult to distinguish at small sizes, this is a problem of legibility. Typographers are concerned with legibility insofar as it is their job to select the correct font to use.
Brush Script Brush Script is a casual connecting script typeface designed in 1942 by Robert E. Smith (type designer), Robert E. Smith for the American Type Founders (ATF). The face exhibits an exuberant graphic stroke emulating the look of handwritten written le ...

Brush Script
is an example of a font containing many characters that might be difficult to distinguish. The selection of cases influences the legibility of typography because using only uppercase letters (''all-caps'') reduces legibility. ''Readability'' refers to how easy it is to read the text as a whole, as opposed to the individual character recognition described by legibility. Use of margins, word and line spacing, and clear document structure all impact readability. Some fonts or font styles, for instance
sans-serif In typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by ...
fonts, are considered to have low readability and so are unsuited for large quantities of prose. Legibility "refers to perception" (being able to see as determined by physical limitations of the eye), and readability "refers to comprehension" (understanding the meaning). Good typographers and graphic designers aim to achieve excellence in both. "The typeface chosen should be legible. That is, it should be read without effort. Sometimes legibility is simply a matter of type size; more often, however, it is a matter of typeface design. Case selection always influences legibility. In general, typefaces that are true to the basic letterforms are more legible than typefaces that have been condensed, expanded, embellished, or abstracted. Studies of both legibility and readability have examined a wide range of factors including type size and type design, comparing
serif In typography, a serif () is a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a larger stroke in a letter or symbol within a particular font or family of fonts. A typeface or "font family" making use of serifs is called a serif typeface ( ...

serif
vs. sans-serif type,
roman type In Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is a set of graphic signs (Writing system#General properties, script) based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet. This is derived from a form of the Cumae alphabet, Cumaean Gre ...
vs. ''
oblique type Oblique type is a form of type that slants slightly to the right, used for the same purposes as italic type. Unlike italic type, however, it does not use different glyph shapes; it uses the same glyphs as roman type, except slanted. Oblique and ita ...
'' and ''
italic type In typography, italic type is a cursive font based on a stylised form of calligraphic handwriting. Owing to the influence from calligraphy, italics normally slant slightly to the right. Italics are a way to emphasise key points in a printed tex ...
''
,
line length In typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by hu ...
, , color contrast, the design of right-hand edge (for example, justification, straight right hand edge) vs. ragged right, and whether text is
hyphen The hyphen is a punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding and correct reading of written text, ...
ated. Justified copy must be adjusted tightly during typesetting to prevent loss of readability, something beyond the capabilities of typical personal computers. Legibility research has been published since the late nineteenth century. Although there often are commonalities and agreement on many topics, others often create poignant areas of conflict and variation of opinion. For example, Alex Poole asserts that no one has conclusively answered which
typeface A typeface is the design of lettering Lettering is an umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying ...

typeface
style, serif or sans serif, is more legibile, although strong opinion exist. Other topics, such as justified vs. unjustified type, use of hyphens, and proper typefaces for people with reading difficulties such as
dyslexia Dyslexia, also known as reading disorder, is a disorder characterized by difficulty reading Reading is the process of taking in the sense or meaning of letters, symbols, ''etc.'', especially by sight or touch. For educators and researche ...

dyslexia
, have continued to be debated. Legibility is usually measured through the speed of reading, with comprehension scores used to check for effectiveness (that is, not a rushed or careless read). For example, Miles Tinker, who published numerous studies from the 1930s to the 1960s, used a speed of reading test that required participants to spot incongruous words as an effectiveness filter. The ''Readability of Print Unit'' at the
Royal College of Art The Royal College of Art (RCA) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in ...
under Professor
Herbert Spencer Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a professional who has speciali ...
with Brian Coe and Linda Reynolds did important work in this area. It was one of the centres that revealed the importance of the
saccadic A saccade ( , French language, French for ''jerk'') is a quick, simultaneous movement of both Eye movement (sensory), eyes between two or more phases of Fixation (visual), fixation in the same direction.Cassin, B. and Solomon, S. ''Dictionary o ...
rhythm of eye movement for readability—in particular, the ability to take in (i.e., recognise the meaning of groups of) about three words at once and the physiognomy of the eye, which means the eye tires if the line required more than 3 or 4 of these saccadic jumps. More than this is found to introduce strain and errors in reading (e.g., doubling). The use of all-caps renders words indistinguishable as groups, all letters presenting a uniform line to the eye, requiring special effort for separation and understanding. These days, legibility research tends to be limited to critical issues or the testing of specific design solutions (for example, when new typefaces are developed). Examples of critical issues include typefaces for people with
visual impairment Visual impairment, also known as vision impairment or vision loss, is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes problems not fixable by usual means, such as glasses Glasses, also known as eyeglasses or spectacles, are vision eyew ...
, typefaces and case selection for highway and street signs, or for other conditions where legibility may make a key difference. Much of the legibility research literature is atheoretical—various factors were tested individually or in combination (inevitably so, as the different factors are interdependent), but many tests lacked a model of reading or visual perception. Some typographers believe that the overall word shape () is essential in readability and that the theory of parallel letter recognition is wrong, less important, or not the entire picture. Word shape differs by outline, influenced by ascending and descending elements of lowercase letters and enables reading the entire word without having to parse out each letter (for example, ''dog'' is easily distinguished from ''cat'') and that becomes more influential on being able to read groups of words at a time. Regarding how people recognize words when they read, studies comparing Bouma recognition and parallel letter recognition have favored parallel letter recognition, which is widely accepted by
cognitive psychologists Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual functions and processes such as: attention, the formation of ...
. Some commonly agreed findings of legibility research include: * Text set in lowercase is more legible than text set all in
uppercase Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or ...
(capitals, all-caps), presumably because lowercase letter structures and word shapes are more distinctive. * Extenders ( ascenders,
descender Image:Descender.png, 390px, Descenders are parts of a character that lie below the baseline. In typography and handwriting, a descender is the portion of a Letter (alphabet), letter that extends below the Baseline (typography), baseline of a typefa ...

descender
s, and other projecting parts) increase salience (prominence). * Regular upright type (
roman type In Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is a set of graphic signs (Writing system#General properties, script) based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet. This is derived from a form of the Cumae alphabet, Cumaean Gre ...
) is more legible than
italic type In typography, italic type is a cursive font based on a stylised form of calligraphic handwriting. Owing to the influence from calligraphy, italics normally slant slightly to the right. Italics are a way to emphasise key points in a printed tex ...
. *
Contrast Contrast may refer to: Science * Contrast (vision), the difference in color and light between parts of an image * Contrast (statistics), a combination of averages whose coefficients add up to zero, or the difference between two means * Behavioral ...
, without dazzling brightness, also has been found to be important, with black on yellow/cream being most effective along with white on blue. * Positive images (e.g., black on white) make handheld material easier to read than negative or reversed (e.g., white on black). Even this commonly accepted practice has some exceptions, however (for example, in some cases of disability, and designing the most effective signs for drivers). * The upper portions of letters (ascenders) play a stronger part in the recognition process than the lower portions. Readability also may be compromised by
letter-spacing Examples of headline letter-spacing In typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assembled on a composing stick using pieces that are stored in the type case shown below it Typography is the art and technique of type ...
, word spacing, or
leading In typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by ...

leading
that is too tight or too loose. It may be improved when generous vertical space separates text lines, making it easier for the eye to distinguish one line from the next, or previous line. Poorly designed typefaces and those that are too tightly or loosely fitted also may be less legible. Underlining also may reduce readability by eliminating the recognition effect contributed by the descending elements of letters. Periodical publications, especially
newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of works in sequential segments ...

newspaper
s and
magazine A magazine is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of works in sequential ...

magazine
s, use typographical elements to achieve an attractive, distinctive appearance, to aid readers in navigating the publication, and in some cases for dramatic effect. By formulating a
style guide A style guide or manual of style is a set of standards for the writing, formatting, and design of documents A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of ...
, a publication or periodical standardizes with a relatively small collection of typefaces, each used for specific elements within the publication, and makes consistent use of typefaces, case, type sizes, italic, boldface, colors, and other typographic features such as combining large and small capital letters together. Some publications, such as ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer ''The Observer'' is a British newspaper published on Sun ...

The Guardian
'' and ''
The Economist ''The Economist'' is an international weekly newspaper A weekly newspaper is a general-news or current affairsCurrent affairs may refer to: Media * Current Affairs (magazine), ''Current Affairs'' (magazine), a bimonthly magazine of cult ...
'', go so far as to commission a
type designer A type designer (sometimes mistakenly referred to as a ''typographer'') is a person who designs typefaces. A partial list of notable type designers follows by country, with a signature typeface (or two for significant designers). Australia * Ste ...
to create customized typefaces for their exclusive use. Different periodicals design their publications, including their typography, to achieve a particular tone or style. For example, ''
USA Today ''USA Today'' (stylized in all uppercase) is an American daily middle-market newspaper A middle-market newspaper is a newspaper that caters to readers who like entertainment as well as the coverage of important news events. Middle-market sta ...
'' uses a bold, colorful, and comparatively modern style through their use of a variety of typefaces and colors; type sizes vary widely, and the newspaper's name is placed on a colored background. In contrast, ''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of a ...

The New York Times
'' uses a more traditional approach, with fewer colors, less typeface variation, and more
columns A column or pillar in architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Par ...
. Especially on the front page of newspapers and on magazine covers,
headline The headline or heading is the text indicating the nature of the article below it. The large type ''front page headline'' did not come into use until the late 19th century when increased competition between newspapers led to the use of attention-g ...

headline
s often are set in larger display typefaces to attract attention, and are placed near the masthead. ''Typography utilized to characterize text:'' Typography is intended to reveal the character of the text. Through the use of typography, a body of text can instantaneously reveal the mood the author intends to convey to its readers. The message that a body of text conveys has a direct relationship with the typeface that is chosen. Therefore, when a person focuses on typography and setting type, they must pay very close attention to the typeface they choose. Choosing the correct typeface for a body of text can only be done after thoroughly reading the text, understanding its context, and understanding what the text is wishing to convey. Once the typographer has an understanding of the text, then they have the responsibility of using the appropriate typeface to honor the writing done by the author of the text. Knowledge required to choose the correct typeface comes with understanding the historical background of typefaces and understanding the reason that typeface was created. For example, if the text is titled “Commercial Real Estate Transactions” and elaborates on the real estate market throughout the body, then the appropriate typeface is a serif typeface, because the author intends to inform his audience on a serious topic and not entertain his audience with an anecdote; a serif typeface would convey a sense of seriousness to the audience instantaneously. The typographer would also employ larger type for the title to convey its importance, which directly informs the reader of the structure in which the text is intended to be read, and increases readability from varying distances. ''Typography utilized to make reading practical:'' Typography not only must honor the tone of the text but also share the responsibility of making the audience commence reading and sustaining the audience's attention throughout the text. Although typography can potentially attract the reader's attention and create a beautiful/attractive piece of text, the craft of typography is not limited to the aesthetic appeal of the text. On the contrary, the object of typography is to make the reading experience practical and useful. Bold colors, multiple typefaces, and colorful backgrounds in a typographic design may be eye-catching; however, it may not be appropriate for all bodies of text and could potentially make text illegible. Overuse of design elements such as colors and typefaces can be unsettling, preventing the text from conveying its message to readers. A study from 2020 found that the participating subjects felt music sounded "more pleasant" when the CD cover featured round typeface.


Display graphics

Type may be combined with
negative space is an optical illusion in which the negative space around the vase forms the silhouettes of two faces in profile, a well-known example of figure-ground reversal by emphasizing that negative space Image:FedEx Corporation logo.svg, FedEx‘s l ...
and images, forming relationships and dialog between the words and images for special effects. Display designs are a potent element in
graphic design Graphic design is the profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recogni ...
. Some sign designers exhibit less concern for readability, sacrificing it for an artistic manner. Color and size of type elements may be much more prevalent than in solely text designs. Most display items exploit type at larger sizes, where the details of letter design are magnified. Color is used for its emotional effect in conveying the tone and nature of subject matter. Display typography encompasses: *
Advertisement Advertising is a marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasi ...

Advertisement
s in publications, such as newspapers and magazines * Magazine and newspaper headline type *
Sign A sign is an object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** Entity, something that is tangible and within the grasp of the senses ** Object (abstract), an object which does not exist at ...

Sign
s and other large-scale-letter designs, such as
information sign An informative sign is a very legibly printed and very ...

information sign
s and
billboard A billboard (also called a hoarding in the UK and many other parts of the world) is a large outdoor advertising Out-of-home (OOH) advertising, also called outdoor advertising, outdoor media, and out-of-home media, is advertising experienced ...

billboard
s *
Poster A poster is a temporary promotion of an idea, product, or event put up in a public space for mass consumption. Typically, posters include both textual and graphic elements, although a poster may be either wholly graphical or wholly text. Post ...
s *
Brochure A brochure is an informative paper document (often also used for advertising) that can be folded into a template, , or . A brochure can also be a set of related unfolded papers put into a pocket folder or packet. Brochures are promotional documen ...
s and flyers *
Packaging and labeling Packaging is the science, art and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use. Packaging also refers to the process of designing, evaluating, and producing packages. Packaging can be described as a co ...
* Business communications and advertising *
Book cover A book cover is any protective covering used to bind together the pages of a book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, o ...

Book cover
s * Typographic
logo A logo (abbreviation of logotype; ) is a graphic Graphics () are visual The visual system comprises the sensory organ A sense is a biological system A biological system is a complex network which connects several biologically rel ...

logo
s, trademarks, and word marks *
Graffiti Graffiti (both singular and plural; the singular ''graffito'' is rarely used except in archeology) is a type of art genre that means writing or drawings made on a wall or other surface, usually without permission and within public view. Graf ...

Graffiti
* Inscriptions *
Architectural Architecture (Latin ''architectura ''Architectura: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Baukunst'' is a biannual peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the wo ...

Architectural
lettering *
Kinetic typography Kinetic typography—the technical name for "moving text"—is an animation technique mixing motion and text to express ideas using video animation. This text is presented over time in a manner intended to convey or evoke a particular idea or emot ...
in
motion picture A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, o ...
s,
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

television
,
vending machine A vending machine is an automated machine that provides items such as snacks A snack is a small portion of food generally Eating, eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed f ...
displays, online, and
computer screen A computer monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial form. A monitor usually comprises the visual display, circuitry, casing, and power supply A power supply is an electrical device that supplies electric power to an ...
displays


Advertising

Typography has long been a vital part of promotional material and
advertising Advertising is a marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasi ...

advertising
. Designers often use typefaces to set a theme and mood in an advertisement (for example, using bold, large text to convey a particular message to the reader). Choice of typeface is often used to draw attention to a particular advertisement, combined with efficient use of color, shapes, and images. Today, typography in advertising often reflects a company's
brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business Business is the activity of making one's living or making mon ...

brand
. A brand may use typography to express its theme, personality, and message. Just by looking at the typeface, viewers can get an idea about the message and personality of the brand, which the brands are fully aware of and are tapping into the power of good typography. Typefaces used in advertisements convey different messages to the reader: classical ones are for a strong personality, while more modern ones may convey clean, neutral look. Bold typefaces are used for making statements and attracting attention. In any design, a balance has to be achieved between the visual impact and communication aspects. Digital technology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has enabled the creation of typefaces for advertising that are more experimental than traditional typefaces.


Inscriptional and architectural lettering

The history of inscriptional lettering is intimately tied to the history of writing, the evolution of letterforms and the craft of the hand. The widespread use of the computer and various etching and
sandblasting Abrasive blasting, more commonly known as sandblasting, is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface under high pressure Pressure (symbol: ''p'' or ''P'') is the force In physics ...
techniques today has made the hand carved monument a rarity, and the number of letter-carvers left in the continues to dwindle. For monumental lettering to be effective, it must be considered carefully in its context. Proportions of letters need to be altered as their size and distance from the viewer increases. An expert monument designer gains understanding of these nuances through much practice and observation of the craft. Letters drawn by hand and for a specific project have the possibility of being richly specific and profoundly beautiful in the hand of a master. Each also may take up to an hour to carve, so it is no wonder that the automated sandblasting process has become the industry standard. To create a sandblasted letter, a rubber mat is laser-cut from a computer file and glued to the stone. The blasted sand then bites a coarse groove or channel into the exposed surface. Unfortunately, many of the computer applications that create these files and interface with the laser cutter do not have a wide selection of many typefaces, and often have inferior versions of those typefaces that are available. What now can be done in minutes, however, lacks the striking architecture and geometry of the chisel-cut letter that allows light to play across its distinct interior planes.


See also

*
Allography Allography, from the Greek for "other writing", has several meanings which all relate to how word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, obje ...

Allography
, different representations of the same grapheme or character in different typefaces have the same meaning *
Digital typography Desktop publishing (DTP) is the creation of documents using page layout software on a personal ("desktop") personal computer, computer. It was first used almost exclusively for print publications, but now it also assists in the creation of variou ...
*
Letterpress printing Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing Image:Principle of Relief Printing.svg, The basic concept of relief printing. ''A'' is the block or matrix; ''B'' is the paper; the thick black lines are the inked areas. (The thickness ...
*
Punctuation Punctuation (or sometimes interpunction) is the use of spacing, conventional signs (called punctuation marks), and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding and correct reading of written text, whether read silently or aloud. An ...
*
Typographic alignment In typesetting on a composing stick on a type case. , letter founder, from the 1728 edition of '' Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, Cyclopaedia''. . Typesetting is the composition of Written language, text by means ...
* :Typographical symbols


Supporting organizations

* ATypI: Association Typographique Internationale ("International Typographic Association") * International Society of Typographic Designers * Society of Typographic Aficionados * Type Directors Club


References


Citations


General sources

* . * * . * * Dowding, Geoffrey. ''Finer Points in the Spacing and Arrangement of the Printed Word'', 2nd ed. Point Roberts, WA: Hartley and Marks, 1999. * . A compilation of more than fifty texts on the history, practice, and aesthetics of typeface design and typography * , 159 pp. * , devotes entire chapters to the development and uses of individual or small groupings of typefaces * . * . * McLean, Ruari. ''The Thames and Hudson Manual of Typography''. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1992. * . * . * . * . * . A comprehensive collection of essays on the typographic art. A more classic companion to . * Tschichold, Jan. ''The New Typography''. New ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006. * . * . * . * ''Type Foundries of America and Their Catalogues'' and ''A Typographical Journey through the Inland Printer, 1883-1900'' by Maurice Annenberg


External links


AIGA typography
– Articles and interviews relating to typography from AIGA's Voice section
Decode Unicode
– A wiki with all 98,884 Unicode characters, including full text search capability
Layout & typography
– W3C Internationalization (i18n) Activity * {{Authority control Typography, Philatelic terminology