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First, I thank my advisor Prof. Barnali Ray, for her continuous support in the BSc. program. She was always there to listen and to give advice to me. She is responsible for my over all evolution both as a person & a student. She taught me how to ask questions and express my ideas. She showed me different ways to approach a research problem and the need to be persistent to accomplish any goal. I also thank Prof. Malay Das Gupta. Academic Chairperson, Media ISB&M, Kolkata, for accepting my topic of research and further motivating me. Special thanks are due to my mentor, Prof. Akash Mandal, for his help with access. He not only taught me the different DTP softwares and their application methods, but also helped me in selecting my topic. It was with him that I explored the ideas, organization, requirements and development of this research project. Last but not the least I would like to pay sincere thanks to my parents, my friends & my classmates, for their continuous support and motivation.
objective of study letterforms signography calligraphy typography typography Physical Structure Design Style Function of Type composition where does it come from application problems related conclusion case study bibliography 14 34 35 38 41 42 8 4 7
Objective of study
Imagine a day in the life of an average urban Indian male living in an apartment by himself. He wakes up early in the morning to the sound of mobile alarm (which has NOKIA written above the screen & snooze-stop inside the screen). He jumps out of bed and switches the TV for some morning news (and in a bold font appears BREAKING NEWS with the headlines written). With a brush in his mouth (of course with ‗Close–Up‘ toothpaste ‗for greater confidence‘, written in a flashy attractive fonts), he scans the news paper (for a quick update while he prepares some breakfast (the fast and highly nutritious ‗Kellogg‘s‘). After a warm bath (with ‗Dettol‘ soap - for greater skin protection and ‗Head and Shoulders‘ Shampoo so that he is never embarrassed because of dandruff), and a cool shave (with the very cool ‗Gillette Shaving foam‘ as shaving cream is out and shaving foam is in, and the ‗Mac3‘ - for the closest shave), he bathes his cheeks with an after shave (‗Old Spice‘ – for that macho feeling). He dashes off to work (whizzing past posters, billboards, hoardings – all bombarding him with different messages, schemes, offers etc. written in their unique font type and their design). His bus and train journey are never boring as he always carries the latest ‗India Today‘ to keep him abreast of the latest happenings. He is on the field working when he feels thirsty (but he cannot make up his mind whether to have a ‗Thumps – up‘ – as he is grown up, or to have a ‗Pepsi‘ – because he wants to live young forever; any way he decides to play safe and have a ‗Bisleri‘). His mobile suddenly buzzes. It‘s a programmed 5|Page
call, reminding of his date. He realises he is late. At the shopping center close by he buys his date a card (an ‗Archies – I‘m sorry Card‘ of course, because no one can say it better than Archies). Obviously his date reacts as she is expected to by giving him a hug (just like the ad). After the great date they return home. After some TV snacking, he sets the mood with some soft music, spruces himself (any guesses with what?) –yes with the sexiest, irresistible, ‗AXE‘ deo spray). And the lights go out. (Hey wait a second; I forgot to mention the extra soft…. ‗Kurlon‘ mattress he had recently purchased thanks to the special Diwali offer). That was Media and Advertising‘s influence for you. And yes the way these brands and products name are written. I guess even while reading this write up you must have remembered their typefaces & its style of writing. Now this is the power of TYPOGRAPHY. Today humans are surrounded from typography from every corner, once you open your eyes you will see different typefaces everywhere. In every advertisement today, the first thing to be noticed is that the ad contains much text and that the appearance of the text blocks differs greatly. I selected this topic ―Typography as a means of communication‖ because I have always been fascinated by the flamboyant impact typefaces leaves in mind when communicated correctly, its wide variety of application and usage and also misconception & problems related to it. So I wanted so dig deep into incite of the real meaning and soul of typefaces for my personal knowledge.
Broadly there are three letterforms used for communication: Signography: These letterforms are drawn, painted & fabricated. The term ‗signography‘ is derived from sign writing. Various instruments such as paints, brushes, scales & knives may be used to develop the letters on various surfaces. Calligraphy: It is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering. It is the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner "calligraphy ranges from functional hand-lettered inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the abstract expression of the handwritten mark may or may not compromise the legibility of the letters. Normal pens, brushes & ink are used to write these letters. Typography: It is the art and technique of arranging type, type design, and modifying type glyphs. Type glyphs are created and modified using a variety of illustration techniques. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading (line spacing), adjusting the spaces between groups of letters (tracking) and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning). Typeface is the image of letter we get on paper. Since Signography & Calligraphy letterforms are drawn by hands, they are not standardized. Typography letterforms are standardized as they are made from moulds, stencils or grids. These letters appear the same on pages many times they are printed.
“Typography is a beautiful group of letter Not a group of beautiful letters”
Typography comes from the Greek words typos ("mark or figure") and grapho ("I write"). Typography is performed by typesetters, compositors, typographers, graphic designers, art directors, comic book artists, graffiti artists, and clerical workers. Until the Digital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of visual designers and lay users. Typography has long been a vital part of promotional material and advertising. Designers often use typography to set a theme and mood in an advertisement; for example using bold, large text to convey a particular message to the reader. Type 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. Fonts used in advertisements convey different messages to the reader; classical fonts are for a strong personality, while more modern fonts are for a cleaner, neutral look. Bold fonts are used for making statements and attracting attention. Typography can be further divided into three parts: (i) physical structure, (ii) aesthetics of typography which comes from various design style, and (iii) functions or readability.
One needs to understand some common features and the basic differences between type body, typeface and font to avoid confusion in professional handling of typography. i. Type body: The concept of type body comes from the hot metal type in which all the images are in rectangular blocks, different in width but identical in height. If these blocks are arranged side by side, they will make words. The letters on it form a mirror image. And its impact on the paper leaves the impression of the letter. Typeface: It is the portion of the type body that receives ink and makes contact with the paper. It can also be defined as the design of letter characters with consistent visual properties which relate to the strokes of the letters of different strokes. Times and Arial are typefaces. Strictly speaking, Times Regular and Times Bold are different typefaces, but they‘re part of the same typeface family. Even though the font files are different, the typeface— the design—is the same. Some strokes of an alphabet are in a consistent size. This is known as the X-height of the letters. The main stroke of lowercase letters is within this height. Some letter strokes that extend above & drop below the X-height are called ascenders & descenders, respectively. It refers to the size of this invisible, imaginary body.
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Font: It provides for displaying a set of symbols through well defined shapes for each symbol. The symbol is a generic concept and the font is an instance of specific representation of a set of symbols. Fonts were created by craftsmen & artists during the days of printing machines that used movable type faces. Today, fonts are created by artists & designers who work with computer based characters. A font can contain characters of many sizes and several variations of the basic family shapes. Type face & font are often used synonymously. Different types of fonts generally used in DTP softwares are PostScript fonts, TrueType fonts & OpenType fonts.
Typefaces are available in thousands of design variations, especially Roman characters. In order to facilitate identification and to use these faces suitably in design, the faces can be divided into four groups. These groups are based on the basis of the strokes of characters & gradual development of faces, which evolved into a style.
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Function of Type composition
Text is composed to create a readable, coherent, and visually satisfying whole that works invisibly, without the awareness of the reader. Even distribution of typeset material, with a minimum of distractions and anomalies, is aimed at producing clarity and transparency. Choice of font(s) is the primary aspect of text typography— prose fiction, non-fiction, editorial, educational, religious, scientific, spiritual and commercial writing all have differing characteristics and requirements of appropriate typefaces and fonts. For historic material established text typefaces are frequently chosen according to a scheme of historical genre acquired by a long process of accretion, with considerable overlap between historical periods. Contemporary books are more likely to be set with state-ofthe-art seriffed "text Romans" or "book Romans" with design values echoing present-day design arts, which are closely based on traditional models such as those of Nicolas Jenson, Francesco Griffo (a punch cutter who created the model for Aldine typefaces), and Claude Garamond. With their more specialized requirements, newspapers and magazines rely on compact, tightly fitted seriffed text fonts specially designed for the task, which offer maximum flexibility, readability and efficient use of page space. Sans serif text fonts are often used for introductory paragraphs, incidental text and whole short articles. A current fashion is to pair sans-serif type for headings with a high-performance seriffed font of matching style for the text of an article. Readability is primarily the concern of the typographer or information designer. It has several aspects. The first is the writer‘s idea. The second is the language. The third is the construction of sentences. Compound and complex sentences, unfamiliar words, improper punctuation & long paragraphs reduces readability. The fourth is the reader‘s 12 | P a g e
interest. And fifth is the legibility of type composition. Designers are mainly involved in this part. Legibility is primarily the concern of the typeface designer, to ensure that each individual character or glyph is unambiguous and distinguishable from all other characters in the font. Legibility is also in part the concern of the typographer to select a typeface with appropriate clarity of design for the intended use at the intended size. An example of a well-known design, Brush Script, contains a number of illegible letters since many of the characters can be easily misread especially if seen out of textual context. Legibility ‗refers to perception‘ and readability ‗refers to comprehension‘. Typographers aim to achieve excellence in both. Apart from these, there are other things which affect the function of type composition like: the matter of uppercase & lowercase letters, letter spacing, word spacing, line spacing, paragraph spacing, line length, etc.
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Where does it come from?
We see it every day on signs, billboards, packaging, in books and magazines; in fact, you are looking at it now — the Latin or Roman alphabet, the world‘s most prolific, most widespread ABC. Typography is a relatively recent invention, but to unearth the origins of alphabets, we will need to travel much farther back in time, to an era contemporaneous with the emergence of (agricultural) civilisation itself. We will begin where civilisation began, meander through the Middle Ages, race through the Renaissance, and in doing so discover where our alphabet originated, how and why it evolved, and why, for example, an A looks, well, like an A.
Cuneiform The Sumerians began to experiment with writing at the close of the fourth millennium BC, in Mesopotamia between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates (roughly modern-day Iraq). Like most writing systems, Cuneiform, initially scratched — later impressed by a stylus — into soft clay, started out as a series of pictograms — pictures representing words. The word for bird, for example, existed at first as a simple pictorial representation of a bird. The figure below demonstrates this process of abstraction or rationalization. In time, the pictures of things came to represent, not only things but, sounds. It is clear that a written language with signs that represent sounds requires fewer characters than a language in which a sign stands for a thing or an idea. We use 26 letters (and the Romans used only 23 to create some of the most outstanding literature the world has ever 14 | P a g e
known) while the Chinese, for example, have to learn thousands of characters to express themselves. Even early cuneiform comprised some 1,500 pictograms.
1.1 The pictographic origin of Cuneiform. Figure 1.2 is an example of Proto-Cuneiform, one of the earliest examples of writing know. It‘s a form of Cuneiform that exists between the earliest purely pictographic forms and the later more abstract forms.
1.2 Proto-Cuneiform. Subject: beer rations. While the Sumerian language ceased to be spoken after about 2000 BC, the influence of its written form (Cuneiform) is still felt today. The Sumerian language was mostly 15 | P a g e
replaced by the language of their Akkadian conquerors who did, however, adopt the Cuneiform signs of the Sumerians. Figure 1.3, shows the Cyrus Cylinder, recounts the fall of Babylon in 539 BC (Daniel 5 in the Old Testament) to the Persians led by king Cyrus.
1.3 Cyrus Cylinder (Akkadian cuneiform), 6th century BC. EGYPT The writing of the gods The Egyptians developed a similar system of pictograms. Hieroglyphic inscriptions (literally sacred carving), like Cuneiform started out as pictograms, but later they were also used to represent speech sounds.
2.1 Egyptian hieroglyphs. 16 | P a g e
The Egyptian pictographs evolved into a cursive style called hieratic that was freer, written more rapidly and contained numerous ligatures.
2.2 Hieratic script, 12th Dynasty. A yet later form is demotic, which represents the most abstract form of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Although written mostly in ink on papyrus, the most famous example is to be found on the granite Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone (196 BC), found by scholars who had travelled to Egypt with Napoleon in 1799, is important because it was the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. It is written in two languages, and three scripts: two forms of Egyptian (hieroglyphic & demotic), with a Greek translation.
2.3 Demotic script, 3rd century BC. The story of the alphabet continues in Egypt during the second millennium BC, but the Egyptians are not its authors.
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THE FIRST ALPHABETS Wadi el-Hol Until the discovery of two inscriptions (graffiti) in Wadi elHol, Egypt, in 1999, it was generally held that the beginnings of alphabetic scripts could be traced to around 1600 to 1500 BC, to the Phoenicians, a people of traders who lived on the coast of today‘s Lebanon and Israel. However, the 1999 discovery reveals that, rather than the early Semitic alphabet being developed in their homeland of Syria-Palestine, it was instead developed by the Semiticspeaking people then living in Egypt. This strengthens the hypothesis there must have been ties between Egyptian scripts and their influence on those early Semitic or protoSinaitic alphabets. Moreover, it pushes back the origin of the alphabet to between 1900 and 1800 BC. In the photograph of Inscription 1 from Wadi el-Hol below, the sign highlighted in red (hover over to see) is of an Ox head (aleph) — the origins of the Latin A, and a letter with a long history — early Sumerian cuneiform also uses the Ox as a sign.
3.1 Inscription 1 from Wadi el-Hol. Written right to left. 18 | P a g e
By about 1600 BC in the region between the two dominant writing systems of the time, Cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs, we see the emergence of other more systematised alphabets like ugaritic script (14th century BC) that developed in what is today Syria. The ugaritic script employs 30 simplified cuneiform signs. And thus begins the story of the alphabet.
3.2 Abecedary from Ugarit. PROTO SANAITIC At the same time as the short-lived ugaritic script was being developed (an alphabet adapted from Cuneiform), another alphabetic system emerged that was influenced by Egyptian hieroglyphs. This proto-Sinaitic alphabet of consonants was pictographic, yet each pictograph represents a sound rather than a thing or idea. It is this proto-Sinaitic alphabet that really marks the starting point, the root of numerous modern-day alphabets, from Arabic and Hebrew to Greek and Latin.
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4.1 Proto Sinaitic script, c. 1500 BC. Note the difference between the signs of Inscription 1 from Wadi el-Hol (figure 3.1), and those of the proto-Sinaitic script (figure 4.1). The latter are just a little more abstract. Note especially A (aleph), which has a simplified ductus (fewer strokes). Note too the simplified stick figure, representing a person at prayer. Cut off the torso and the head, rotate what‘s left, and you will see in it the origins of the Latin E:
4.2 The evolution of E (see also figure 4.1 above). But how and why did this alphabet of pictographs evolve into a series of abstract symbols? Mark-Alain Ouaknin, in Mysteries of the Alphabet suggests that the answer is to be found in the transition from polytheism to monotheism:
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THE PHOENICIANS The Purple People While the invention of writing itself could never have progressed without a highly structured and even authoritarian state to back it up, the coming of the modern alphabet is a completely different story. Written in Cuneiform we have the wonderful adventures of Gilgamesh and his companion Enkidu, but most of the clay-tablets from the agricultural city-states are more mundane: lists, taxation, and commercial transactions.
6.1 Phoenician inscription, late 11th century BC. The Phoenician alphabet was probably developed for quick and easy to read notes that a merchant would make on his trips along the ports of the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians are now best-known for their terrible god Baal, to whom children were sacrificed in an enormous cast iron stove. To this day, not all alphabets have letters to represent vowels. Hebrew and Arabic are the best known examples. This simple and ingenious modern alphabet of consonants from which the last vestiges of pictograms had been erased,
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is indeed a merchant‘s instrument: easy to learn, to write and to adapt.
6.2 Phoenician alphabet
GREEK Enter the vowel Although the earliest extant Greek inscriptions date back to the 8th century BC — the first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC — many scholars think that the Greeks adopted the West Semitic Script (the Phoenician consonant alphabet) three centuries earlier. For a long time (at least until the widespread adoption of Ionian script in the fourth century BC), the Greek scripts followed no fixed direction, being written left to right, right to left, and in horizontal boustrophedon. (Braille is set boustrophedonically; relating to writing alternate lines in opposite directions.)
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7.1 Greek Papyrus of Artemisia, 3rd century BC. In Greek scripts we witness the jettisoning of pictographic forms in favour of abstract, linear forms. Based on comparisons of late Phoenician alphabets and archaic Greek scripts (and Greek tradition; e.g. Herodotus) it appears that the Greeks simply adopted most of the Phoenician signs but added the vowels that the Phoenicians had left out.
7.2 Greek inscription from Thera, 8th century BC.
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ETRUSCAN The Etruscans came to Italy from western Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). From about 750 BC, the Greeks, as far north as Naples, were settling in Italy. They were among the first imitators of Greek vases which they often decorated with phoney Greek inscriptions. One of the last known speakers of the Etruscan language was the learned emperor Claudius who wrote a dictionary now lost. To this day no-one has deciphered the Etruscan language, yet in classical times it was known for its great literature, unfortunately none of which has survived. Not only did the Etruscans adopt much of the art and religious rites of the Greeks, but, most importantly for our story, they adopted the Greek alphabet. Rome may not have been an Etruscan town but the Roman kings were Etruscans. Within a few centuries the Roman Republic became the master of Italy and absorbed the Etruscans completely.
8.1 Abecedary from Marsiliana, Etruria, ca. 700 BC. However, their alphabet survived and prospered as it spread over the world with the expansion of the world’s mistress, the mighty Roman Empire. LATIN Musical chairs & the tale of Z The Latin alphabet that we still use today was created by the Etruscans and the Romans from the Greek. It had only 23 letters: the J, U and W were missing. The J was represented
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by the I, the U was written as V and there was no need for a W. The story of the Z is particularly interesting. The new letter G (based on C) was added; Z was borrowed from the Greek, and then dropped as Latin had no need for it. G took its place in the line-up, until a little later when the Romans decided they needed the Z (when Greek literature became the vogue and they started to introduce many Greek words), they re-introduced it, but since its spot had been taken by G, it was sent to the back of the alphabet, where it remains to this day.
9.1 Detail from Trajan inscription, ca. 114 AD.
RUSTIC CAPITALS From the square Roman capitals (preserved on the plinth of Trajan‘s Column (114 AD), developed the freer-form and slightly more condensed Rustic capitals.
10.1 Rustic Capitals, ca. 4th century. 25 | P a g e
Uncial & Half Uncial The „lowercase‟ makes its entrance Most writing was of course done on papyrus and on walls, informal and quick. The cursive was the letter that Martialis read aloud to his friends when he recited his poems at night. This was a letterform that could be jotted down quickly with a reed pen dipped in ink. The ‗old‘ cursive is difficult to read but the ‗new‘, that evolved from the 4th century onwards resembles our own writing. It spawned the much later Carolingian minuscule letter — the Adam & Eve of all printing types used today. The second great invention, the codex, came at the same time. While the Romans used scrolls made of papyrus, in the fourth century somebody had the idea to cut parchment into oblong pieces and sew them together — thus creating the first random-accessible book. Together with the eminently readable script this must be considered one of the greatest inventions of all time.
11.1 Uncial, France, 7th century.
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11.2 Left: Insular, England, 8th century. Right: Visigothic, Spain, France, 9th century. In France, Merovingian; Visigothic in the Iberian Peninsula (figure 11.2); the Beneventan (figure 11.3) in Southern Italy (which shows features of the Half-Uncial, and late Roman Cursive; and in England and Ireland, the Insular forms (figure 11.2).
11.3 Beneventan script, ca. 1100. 27 | P a g e
Carolingian to Gothic An Emperor and a Yorkshireman The anonymous author of Carmen de carolo Magno refers to Charlemagne as ‗the venerable head of Europe‘ and ‗the father of Europe.‘ Though that‘s something of an exaggeration, Charlemagne‘s influence was substantial and long-lasting, and he succeeded in uniting most of Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire. A man obsessed with bringing order to his expanding kingdom, he sought reform in just about every sphere. For our story his most important reform concerns his efforts to reform writing. Though efforts were already under way, he gave the job to a Yorkshireman, Alcuin of York. Alcuin strove for clarity and uniformity. These efforts, with the backing of Charlemagne and the Church, brought about the Carolingian minuscule (or Carolingian script). A beautiful, legible book hand; long ascenders and descenders, letting in light between the lines, open and round letters with few ligatures and variant letterforms. The early Carolingian scripts share some features with the Roman Half-Uncial (the club shape ‗head serifs‘ on the ascenders of b, d, h, and l, by the 11th century these were replaced by triangular serifs, similar to those we see in numerous roman typefaces of the incunabula (latter half of the 15th century). The early, rounder a was dropped in favour of one similar to that found in early Roman Uncials. In manuscripts penned in this hand, it is not uncommon to see the r with a descender. With Charlemagne and the Church behind it, the Carolingian script quickly spread across Europe, deposing a multitude of regional scripts on its way. By the second half of the tenth century, Carolingian script had reached England, replacing late forms of the insular script; in Spain it replaced Visigothic. 28 | P a g e
That the open forms of the Carolingian script were replaced, from the 12th century, by the darker, more condensed, angular, ligature-ridden, closed forms of the Gothic scripts is, as Delorez writes, one of the mysteries of history. Perhaps a partial explanation is to be found in the new Gothic aesthetic that was sweeping Europe.
12.1 Left: Late Carolingian script, between 1033 & 1053. Centre: Pregothic script, mid-twelfth century. Right: Gothic script (Textualis Formata), between 1304 & 1321.
12.2 Left: Tironian et in this detail from a 14th century manuscript, written in Textualis Formata. The first example in the first line: Arbres et fleurs et ce que orne. Right: Detail from Gutenberg‘s 42-line Bible, ca. 1455. Note the tironian et on the last line.
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From the beginning of the 12th century the tironian ‗et‘ (still used in Irish to this day) began to replace the et ligature, or ampersand. It wouldn‘t make a comeback until the later Humanist scripts, models for the first roman typefaces.
Roman Enter typography The typographical medium could hardly hold more of the Italian Renaissance, the intense admiration for the classical precedent in the capitals, the humanists‘ love of clarity and grace in the small letters. — Harry Carter, p.71 (on Jenson‘s roman type). Printing and 15th century humanism are closely related, and since the humanist philosophers and philologists (literally ‗lovers of words‘, meaning they loved classical Latin) reintroduced classical Latin as the lingua franca of their class, it is no wonder that the first roman alphabets of the earliest printers only used the 23 letters of the classical era. The J was added later. The first J in print was probably made in Italy, early in the 16th century; the written form was first used in the Middle Ages, in France and the Netherlands. The W is a letter not known to the Latins but used often in the vernacular languages of the west. Well into the 17th century it was set in type as VV, but you will also find two Vs that have been cut down and joined to form a W.
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13.1 Left: Early roman of Sweynheim & Pannartz, Rome, 1469. Right: Jenson, Venice, 1472. We stand in the 17th century, some 5,000 years after the Sumerians set stylus to clay. We now have a dual alphabet of 26 letters, uppercase and lowercase forms. There is hardly a straight line to be seen in the history of the alphabet. No Darwinian progress there, no survival of the fittest. Many of the aforementioned scripts developed sideby-side, some disappeared and reappeared, some can be shown to be the product of the mind of one man like Alcuin of York. And we do not know what would have happened if Hannibal had marched straight to Rome after winning the battle of Cannae instead of loitering.
Putting the pieces together Writing and alphabets evolve for a number of reasons. The regional and national variations developed, their success, in part at least, owed to political and geo-political factors: A victorious invader brings its culture, including its language, both spoken and written. Context is also an important factor: text cut in stone contemplating the deeds of emperors is something different than an advertisement for a brothel scratched on a wall in Pompeii. The substrate, or writing material (whether clay, stone, wax tablets, wood, metal, papyrus, parchment, or vellum; and the writing 31 | P a g e
implement, a reed, chisel, quill, broad nib pen — they all affect the form the alphabet takes. The speed of the hand is another factor. As an interesting exercise, write the capital alphabet, A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z slowly and deliberately — in your best hand. Now write it again at twice the speed. Finally, write it as quickly as you possibly can. The rapid hand introduces a reduced ductus (fewer strokes), and fewer pen-lifts, with those neat capital letters of the first round turning into something freer, more cursive. You can then further evolve your letterforms by using the most rapidly written alphabet, and begin to rationalise it, adjusting the proportions, altering the shading (contrast), and the result is an entirely a new hand.
14.1. A brief history of A.
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In contemporary use, the practice and study of typography is very broad, covering all aspects of letter design and application. These include: typesetting and type design, handwriting and calligraphy, graffiti, inscriptional and architectural lettering, poster design and other large scale lettering such as signage and billboards, business communications and promotional collateral, advertising, word marks and typographic logos (logotypes), apparel (clothing), labels on maps, vehicle instrument panels, kinetic typography in motion picture films and television, as a component of industrial design—type on household appliances, pens and wristwatches, as a component in modern poetry (see, for example, the poetry of E. E. Cummings). Since digitization, typography has spread to a wider range of applications, appearing on web pages, LCD mobile phone screens, and hand-held video games. The ubiquity of type has led typographers to coin the phrase "Type is everywhere".
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Typographic decision-making begins when children start to write, although most children today also encounter DTP software from a very early age at school as well as in the home. The use of DTP in schools as part of the writing process has the potential to provide emphasis to typographic organization. In ―publishing‖ their documents, children are already being asked to consider how it might be used and by whom, to write with a specific purpose in mind through a process that includes drafting and editing. They are also asked to consider what would be an appropriate appearance for the finished document as it is commonplace for children to be asked at school to produce newspapers, magazines, leaflets, advertisements, etc., as a means of exploring various ways of organizing text. The problem is that for children, their general awareness of typography stems from what they are conscious of seeing: what attracts their eye in the environment of the street and shops, on advertising boards, shop fascias, and on packaging, rather than the typography they read every day in newspapers, magazines, and books. For a child looking for ideas to help in the design of, for instance, a newspaper much of what attracts the eye is inappropriate. And even if newspapers were available in the classroom (and one must assume that in such circumstances they would be), these would require a considerable amount of detailed analysis to be of any real benefit. Teachers are given very little guidance about the potential of visual organization to enhance the meaning of text, let alone the finer points of typography.
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With all the current emphasis on technologies, one needs to be constantly reminded that typography is an essential and powerful force for increasing communication effectiveness. That is its essential role. Improved technologies are only means towards that end. On the community bulletin board of every village, there will be homemade notices and posters. Most amateur community notices and posters today are produced digitally, and yet, despite the dramatic change of tools and processes, the design of such notices remain remarkably similar to the hand-drawn versions of the 1960s or 1970s: the use of underlining, prodigious use of capitals, important words set at a diagonal, and emphasis provided for key points by the use of speech bubbles or boxes. The persistent use of underlining is particularly interesting because of its evolution through handwritten, typewritten, and digital document making. In handwriting, it is an almost universal convention to underline headings as a means of providing hierarchic structure. This is easily achieved and will often be done as an afterthought. For the typist, underlining was one of the few options available to provide emphasis within a typewritten text. Underlining was also used as a convention in copy preparation informing compositors to set type in italic. However, underlined characters were never part of the metal letterpress stock, although it became a possible (but rarely used) option with photo-composition. But in the 1980s and 1990s, it was a far more common sight in printed matter because it was a typing convention and many typists transferred their skills from typewriter to word processing and then to DTP software where underlining is an available option. The practice of centered arrangements for amateur bulletins and posters has also remained almost universal. Up to (and 36 | P a g e
beyond) the 1960s, amateur guidebooks on lettering would suggest that typographic organization was, above all else, about balance and symmetry. Looking at advertising work up to the 1940s, there was a surprisingly high proportion of material which was essentially symmetrical, but, after World War II, the international advertising industry took America‘s lead, and was transformed by more flexible asymmetric arrangements. Today, and since the 1950s in commercial poster design, asymmetric arrangements have been entirely dominant, and yet centered arrangements persistently, and perhaps appropriately, remain the norm, generation after generation, for the traditional, slower pace of life represented on the village community bulletin board. DTP has also meant that a large amount of material for public display that would previously have been produced by the jobbing printer is produced in people‘s homes and offices. However, the technology has not had as big an influence on the actual appearance of local bulletins as might have been expected. With any new technology there is a period of time when the new mimics the conventions of the previous technology. It has, however, rendered the skill of drawing letterforms and applying color unnecessary, and, of course, multiple copies mean that more information can be included.
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Typography is now something everybody does, although only typographers call it ―typography.‖ For everyone else it is now considered a very common, everyday practice, a manual task requiring virtually no thought whatsoever. Thus, the fundamental significance of typography as an intellectual discipline and as a personal accomplishment has become, and probably always was, something of an enigma. But whereas, in the past, typography and printing were genuinely mysterious activities (commonly referred to as ―the black art‖), today everyone has access to the same tools, the same hardware and software. Typography is so familiar, so matter of fact, that most people fail even to acknowledge its existence. In some ways, of course, this is the successful result of its invisible application by generations of printers/typographers. The proof of good typography has nothing to do with technology; it can be judged only in the reading. The message needs interpretation… not interpretation as a masquerade of typefaces but interpretation as an evaluation of content. Interpretation in the sense of discovering the message which has been broken up into essential, minor and insignificant thoughts. Interpretation not only in advertising but also in literature, and ideally a close collaboration between form and content. To bawl and to whisper, quickly and slowly, all these are expressions of verbal communication. Reading matter will also have to bawl and whisper, will have to run and to stroll, will have to emerge quietly and lovingly as esthetic experiences. Typography lives its own esthetic life next to the functional typography, the typography of messages. We 38 | P a g e
read words and sentences but are not aware of the formal qualities of typefaces as long as letters are lined up in order to convey a message. Typography need not only be visible and legible. Typography needs to be audible. Typography needs to be felt. Typography needs to be experienced. Typography today does not mean to place, typography today means to portray. At its best, typography today is a wonderful blend of art and technology. And that is nothing new. It was that way when ideograms were cut in tablets or letters where chiseled in stone or penned on papyrus or scrolls. We just need to remember that long before today‘s technologies were just ideas, and long after they are obsolete, the artist will have to manipulate some technology so that typography will be seen, and read, and understood, and, to be truly effective, be felt.
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A film poster is a very important communication tools which attracts the audience towards the film. It usually contains an image with text, though this has evolved over time from image-free bill posters through to the highly visual digital productions of today. The text usually contains the film title in large lettering and often the names of the main actors. So considering these things in mind, I have taken the poster of film DON from two different eras, one Amitabh Bachanan‘s DON (1978) and another Shahrukh Khan‘s DON (2007). The typography used in both the DON is bold with uppercase fonts, i.e., all in Caps which gives a sense of dominance and presence (presenting a person or an attitude rather than a concept or theme). DON (Old) - White fonts on a black drop makes the title stand out on colored poster. The block like representation of the protagonist and the Gun goes well with the title. DON (New) - Sleeker yet bold fonts is depicting presence and speed. The green color with motion blur goes well with today‘s world of high-tech gadgets and fast life. Here the attitude and personality is given higher preference (through the text) rather than the protagonist (dark silhouette).
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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Art & Print Production- N.N. Sarkar Early History of the Alphabet: An introduction to West Semitic Epigraphy and Palaeography — Joseph Naveh Handbook of Greek and Latin Paleography — Edward Maunde Thompson The Book through 5000 years — H.D.L. Vervliet A View of Early Typography up to About 1600 — Harry Carter The History & Power of Writing — Henri-Jean Martin The Palaeography of Gothic Manuscript Books — Albert Derolez The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe — Elizabeth L. Eisenstein A Short History of the Printed Word — Chappell & Bringhurst Mysteries of the Alphabet: The Origins of Writing — Marc-Alain Ouaknin Medieval Calligraphy: Its History and Technique — Marc Drogin From Gutenberg to OpenType — Robin Dodd
1. 2. 3.
www.wikipedia.org www.pointlessstart.com www.ilovetypography.com
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