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Oct 6 / Sabrine Ismail

Ellen Lupton, Thinking with Type. pages 22–47

  • rise of industrialization in 19th century brought on more advertising. This leads type designers to create bigger and bolder typefaces
  • lead is too soft to hold it’s shape at larger sizes, so type cut from wood became more popular when it comes to printing on gigantic scales
  • De Stijl group in Netherlands rises and reduces alphabet to perpendicular elements and forms. Bauhuas movement responsible for constructing letters based on geometric forms (elements of universal language of vision)
  • Renner creates Futura in 1927, focusing on avant garde in a multipurpose, commercially available typeface. Tempered with geometry with variations of stroke, curve, and proportion
  • 1967 rise of communication leads to Wim Crouwel publishing a new alphabet constructed of straight lines. Letters designed for optimal display on video screen (curves and angles rendered with horizontal lines)
  • Early 1990s typographers begin to experiment with design. More interested in bending and un-clean shapes for letters. Emulate a style of chaos and decay.


  • ascender height: some elements may extend slightly above cap height
  • cap height – distance from baseline to top of capital letter determines the letter’s point size
  • descender height: length of a letter’s descender contributes to it’s overall style and attitude
  • x-height: the height of the main body of lowercase letter excluding it’s ascenders and descenders
  • baseline: where all the letters sit
  • overhang: curves at the bottom of letters hang slightly below the baseline


  • height: vertical measure
  • width: horizontal measure
  • scale: size of design elements in comparison to other elements in a layout as well to the physical context of the work. Scale is relative
  • humanist: closely connected to calligraphy and movement of the hand
  • transitional/modern: more abstract, less organic
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