The Gutenberg Bible c.

1455 (the printed page)

Book of Hours Flanders c. 1460 (an illuminated book, hand-written by scribes)

Type Classification Blackletter Old Style
BEMBO (1495) Francisco Griffo
stress points

BASKERVILLE (1750) John Baskerville

BODONI (1795) Giambattista Bodoni

The category of (Gothic) script letters used throughout Western Europe from approximately 1150 to 1500. Most prominent kinds are Textura, Rotunda, Schwabacher & Fraktur.

Away from calligraphy towards rationalized system of letterforms. Based on not pen on paper, but design of punches for typefounding.

Mathematical system. Generous counters and x-height. Usually vertical stress. Redefinition of the alphabet as a rational system of parts.

High precision. Strict vertical stress. Serifs not thicker than hairlines. Brilliant contrast. Bodoni can be considered as the face of Neo-classism, while Didot represents the Age of Reason.

Egyptian (Slab Serif)
ROCKWELL (1910) rev. by M.F.Benton(1920s)

Sans Serif
UNIVERS (1957) Adrian Frutiger

MODULA Ribbed (1995) Zuzana Licko

EDWARDIAN SCRIPT (1994) Ed Benguiat

Developed for advertising, posters & flyers in the early 1900s. Horizontal, strong and geometric serifs. Little or no contrast in the strokes.

Most obvious characteristic is the absence of serifs. Generally strokes are uniform, with little or no contrast between them. Stress is always vertical. Variations tend towards either humanist forms (Gill Sans) or rigidly geometric (Futura).

All typefaces that cannot be assigned to any other group. Historic, decorative, typewriter, display, and experimental typefaces.

Scripts are based on handwritten (cursive) letterforms and are not to be confused with italics. Individual letters are designed to ‘touch’ in order to create a flowing, cursive effect.

Carolingian Miniscule used in the 8th c. is the reference for the humanist forms developed during the Renaissance. E.g. Jenson’s Venetian Old Style.

Page of text (folio 160v) from a Carolingian Gospel Book (British Library, MS Add. 11848), written in Carolingian minuscule.

light - light oblique book - book oblique Futura (plain) - oblique bold - bold oblique extrabold - extra bold oblique heavy - heavy oblique condensed light - CL oblique condensed - C oblique condensed bold - CB oblique condensed extra bold - CEB oblique

Futura Type Family*
Paul Renner

*A set of typefaces derived from one basic design

arm stress angle stress




capline ear finial meanline/median x-height baseline



stress link descender loop

2% of the H-line must be allowed above and below

3% must be projected above the top line

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