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Sep 13 / Katie Buddingh

Lupton. Thinking with Type: Pg. 22-47.

Monster Font

Bodoni & Didot used calligraphic practices that collided w/ typographic tradition.

They created an abstract and dehumanized approach to the design of letters.

In 1834 B & D combined pantographic and router

– revolutionized wood-type manufacture.

pantograph – tracing device that allows a parent drawing to spawn variants with different proportions and weights.

– treated the alphabet as a flexible system divorced from calligraphy.

Relationship among letters became more important than the individual letters.


Reform & Revolution

1906 – Edward Johnston revive the search for a standard alphabet. Claimed exaggeration is dangerous.

1927 – Futura by Paul Renner


Type as Program

1967 – Dutch Designer Wim Crouwel

– published “new alphabet” made from straight lines.

Rule-based & systematic.

1985 – Zuzana Licko began designing typefaces that exploited the rough grain of early desktop systems.

– Licko and her husband were cofounders of Emigre Fonts and Emigre magazine

Early 1990s – Type designers were less constrained by low-resolution outputs.


Type as Narrative

1990 – Barry Deck designed template Gothic – based on letters drawn with a plastic stencil.

Barry was a student of Ed Fella

1990 – P. Scott Makela designed Dead History. A pastiche of two typefaces: traditional serif font Centennial & pop classic VAG Rounded.

1990 – Dutch typographers, Erik van Blokland & Just van Rossum combined roles of designer and programmer.

typeface – Beowulf


Back to Work

1996 – Licko designed one of the most popular typefaces of its time.



Point system – standard used today.

One point = 1/72 inch of .35 millimeters.

Twelve pts = one pica.



Horizontal measure of a letter is called a set width.

Width of a letter depends on the height. They are directly related.



Size of design elements in comparison to other elements i na layout as well as the physical context of the work.

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