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A History of Type

Timeline Brief History


and A

From the Pictograph Cave paintings of 40.000 - 10.000 B.C to mid 1980s and everything inbetween

History of Type Timeline


40.000 B.C - 10.000 B.C

Pictographs

Johannes Gutenberg 1439


11.000 A.D

Sans Serif (no feet) 1816 by William Caslon IV

AG Typefoundry 1896

China

Early Cave Drawings are


Pictographs First popular Sans Serif

Created the Gutenberg press and Gutenberg Blackletter. from 8.500 B.C.

Egyptian (Slab Serif ) 1809

Paul Renner 1927

Pictograph

Ideograph or Ideogram
5.000 B.C -400 A.D

Nicolas Jenson 1470 Creator of Early Roman Type Giambattista Bodoni 1791
Futura Typeface 1927

Cuniform
3.000 B.C

3.100 B.C - 400 A.D

Egyptian Hieroglyphic

Linotype Helvetica 1957

5.000 B.C

Aldus Manutius 1500 Romans


600 B.C Bodoni & his Modern Serif Typeface

Emigre Magazine 1984

The Phaistos Disc


1850 - 1600 B.C

The Roman Revolution

William Caslon 1716 - 1728


Created first Pocket Book

Phoenicians
1.000 B.C

900 B.C

Greek

Claude Garamond & Robert Granjon 1500s

Greek Alphabet

First to use the new Macintosh computers & bitmap font tool Garamond Font William Caslon & his Roman Typeface

Pictograph or Pictogram The history of Type or letter forms can be traced back to the Cave paintings of 40,00010,000 B.C, A pictorial symbol for a word or phrase. these were primitive drawings that resembled things in everyday life of the time (Birds, Animals & people). These forms were known as Pictographs or Pictograms. Some of the drawings are of prehistoric animals, cave drawings are Pictographs. There is an image of a Pictograph from 8,500 B.C, this portrays a Fish, Man, Axe & the Sun among others. Ideograph or Ideogram Ideographs or ideograms are written charecters that symbolize the idea of a thing but not how the word sounds. Chinese, Egyptian and Native American characters are Ideographs. The difference between Pictograms and Ideograms is not always clear. Ideograms tend to be less direct representations, and you may have to learn what a particular Ideogram means. Find an image of an Ideogram from 5,000 B.C, also an image of egyptian Hieroglyphic (the writing of the Gods) writing from 3,100 B.C -400 A.D. Cuneiform Cuneiforms were created in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) by Sumarians around 3,000 B.C. This is a form of writing that began as a series of Pictograms written into clay tablets. An example of this would be the 10 commandments Moses brought down from mountSaini. Cuneiform is one of the first systems to read left to right. Pictographs evolve into Ideographs and then into our modern day Alphabet. Our own hand writing also evolves as we get older, it becomes more fluid as we write more. Phoenician Phoenician from around 1,000 B.C is a non-pictographic consnantal alphabet, refered to as Abjad. This alphabet helped to serve Sailors/Traders. It was one of the most widely used writing systems used by many other cultures that traded together, including Greek, Hebrew & Arabic. The Greeks refined the Phoenician alphabet around 900 B.C by adding the first vowles (5 of them). This was then refined by the Romans around 600 B.C, They did this by adding more letters and advancing towards what is the modern day alphabet. Greek Alphabet The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since the 8th century BC. It was derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, and was in turn the ancestor of numerous other European and Middle Eastern scripts, including Cyrillic and Latin. Apart from its use in writing the Greek language, both in its ancient and its modern forms, the Greek alphabet today also serves as a source of technical symbols and labels in many domains of mathematics, science and other fields.In its classical and modern form, the alphabet has 24 letters, ordered from alpha to omega. Like Latin and Cyrillic, Greek originally had only a single form of each letter; it developed the letter case distinction between upper-case and lower-case forms in parallel with Latin during the modern era. Roman Alphabet (Latin) The Roman or Latin alphabet is the alphabet used for many modern-day languages. It originated from the Greek alphabet and was first used to write Latin. The modern version of the alphabet is used for writing many languages. European languages are mostly written with the Latin alphabet. These languages include German, English, and Spanish. Modern day Typography can trace its roots to the first Punches & Dies used to make seals and coins in ancient times. The first known moveable type was probably the Phaistos Disc, sometime between 1850 1600 B.C.China was instrumental in creating one of the first forms of moveable type, in the 11th century but this was restricted by the thousands of characters that was required to use it.

Gutenberg It was not until 1439 that Johannes Gutenberg invented a system of moveable type that revolutionised the world, so mass printing of written began. The Gutenberg Bible was completed between 1450 & 1456, it is believed to be the first book printed using his invention of moveable type and his printing press. The font he created was based on the style of German scribes of the time. The Blackletter typeface (also sometimes referred to as Gothic, Fraktur or Old English) was used in the Guthenburg Bible, one of the first books printed in Europe. This style of typeface is recognizable by its dramatic thin and thick strokes, and in some fonts, the elaborate swirls on the serifs. Blackletter typefaces are based on early manuscript lettering.They evolved in Western Europe from the mid twelfth century. Over time a wide variety of different blackletters appeared, but four major families can be identified: Textura, Rotunda, Schwabacher and Fraktur. Gutenbergs movable press revoloutionised the printing world, and brought printing to the masses. Books were more affordable to everyone, this was the renaissance and books were being printed all over Europe. There was an explosion of printed matter on all subjects Religion, Science and also the spread of personable beliefs. Up untill then printing was by wooden block, Gutenberg used metal for his movable printing press. Jenson 1470 saw the first Italian designed typeface by Nicolas Jenson, With his original roman font. Jenson Roman is an explicit typographic design that imitates the appearance of hand writing. This is now refered to as Oldstyle. Manutius (inventor of one of the first Italics) Aldus Pius Manutius 1449 the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manuyius, the younger was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes the distinctions of inventing Italic type establishing the modern use of the semicolon developing the modern appearance of the comma and introducing inexpensive books in small formats bound in vellum that were read much like modern paperbacks.The next 50 years saw an explosion in printing throughout Europe, by 1500 over 10 million copies of almost 3500 were printed and distributed. In 1500 Aldus Manutius invented the concept of the pocket book or portable book. This brought print to a much wider audience and made more excessable to more people. He also created the first italic typeface design, for which he obtained a patent (due more to his type founder, Francesco Griffo) Garamond & Granjon The 1500s bring us the french type designers, Claude Garamond & Robert Granjon. Garamond came to prominence in 1541, when three of his Greek typefaces were requested for a royally-ordered book series by Robert Estienne. Garamonds Greek font, Grecs du Roi, was used as King Franois I own personal font. Garamond had also published his own typefaces as well as his own new italic typeface. Robert Granjon born 1513, died 16. 11. 1589 in Rome, Italy type founder, punch cutter, publisher.. It is assumed that Robert was the son of the Paris printer and publisher Jean Granjon. Trained as a goldsmith. From 1543 onwards: punch cutter in Paris. 154348: works as a steel punch cutter. 1549: his first book is published in Paris, a pocket book edition of the New Testament in Greek and Latin. 155051: works with type founder Michel Felandat. 155657: works as a punch cutter, type founder, printer and publisher in Lyon. Designs the Gothic italic typeface Civilit which earns him gream acclaim. Designs and cuts the notes ans musical symbols for a song book published in Paris. 1562: returns to Paris where he works as a a punch cutter and type founder. 156370: works closely with Christoph Plantin. 1565: Granjon produces his Parangonne Greque typeface at the instigation of Plantin a a counterpart to Garamonds Grec du Roi. 157074: Granjon offers his typefaces for sale at the Frankfurt fair. 1578: Granjon goes to Rome at the request of Pope Gregory XIII to cut exotic type for the Vaticans printing workshop. During his lifetime Granjon created 9 typefaces and a set of musical symbols. Whilst working as a punch cutter, Granjon designed c. 50 different alphabets, for which he cut c. 6,000 punches.. Phaistos Discs

Bodoni 1791 Brought the first of the Modern serif typefaces created by Giambattista Bodoni. This has ruled serifs and and extreme contrast. A similar and often prefered version of Didot. Bodoni is a series of serif typefaces first designed by Giambattista Bodoni (17401813) in 1798. The typeface is classified as Didone modern. Bodoni followed the ideas of John Baskerville, as found in the printing type Baskerville: increased stroke contrast and a more vertical, slightly condensed, upper case; but took them to a more extreme conclusion. Fat Face came in around 1810, it is an exaggeration of Bodoni. This was in the middle of the industrial revolution. Printers were trying to make things more noticable & bolder. Egyptian (Slab Serif), why call it Egyptian ? It was in 1809 when Napoleon returned from a three year expedition of egypt and published his Description de lEgypt. Egypt was all the rage so type founders simply used the name that was current at the time. In typography a slab serif(also called mechanistic, square serif or Egyptian) typeface is a type of serif typeface characterized by thick, block-like serifs. Serif terminals may be either blunt and angular (Rockwell), or rounded (Courier). Slab serif typefaces generally have no bracket (feature connecting the strokes to the serifs). Some consider slab serifs to be a subset of modern serif typefaces. William Caslon IV Sans Serif (no feet) all capitals was introduced in 1816 by William Caslon IV, when he produced a specimen book with no lower case letters ( there are no examples it in use). William Caslon IV is best known as the designer of the first sans serif typeface, though sans serif lettering had existed for some time. He was the great grandson of the original William Casalon, son of William Casalon III who had purchased the Joseph Jackson foundry in 1792 creating a second Caslon foundry. William IV took over the business in 1807 and was evidently very creative. He invented two part matrices for casting large letters and a method of casting wedge shaped letters for cylinder printing. Accidenz-Grotesk The first popular Sans Serif to be used was Accidenz-Grotesk, created for the AG typefoundry in 1896.Geometric Sans Serif, (Bauhaus style 1919-1933)AkzidenzGrotesk is a grotesque (early sans serif) typeface originally released by the Berthold Type Foundery in 1896 under the name Accidenz-Grotesk. It was the first sans serif typeface to be widely used and influenced many later neo-grotesque typefaces after 1950. Grotesque Typeface (early sans-serif) Futura, 1927 was designed by Paul Renner. It is based on geometric shapes, this typeface is derived from near perfect circles, triangles & squares and is based on strokes of near even weight and are low in contrast.

Zuzana Licko Emigre Magazine In 1984 Emigre magazine were one of the first publications to use computers , this was a huge influence on graphic designers.Zuzana Licko used the new to the market Macintosh computer and a bitmap font tool to create fonts that defined the decade, These new computers brought a whole new concept to graphic designers, it revoloutionised the whole industry. she was an insperation to a generation of font designers. Zuzana Licko is the co-founder of Emigre, together with her husband Rudy VanderLans. Licko was born in 1961 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia and emigrated to the U.S. in 1968. She graduated with a degree in Graphic Communications from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984. Emigre Magazine was founded in 1984 and garnered much critical acclaim when it began to incorporate Lickos digital typeface designs created with the first generation of the Macintosh computer. This exposure of her typefaces in Emigre exposure of her typefaces in Emigre magazine led to the manufacture of Emigre Fonts, which Emigre now distributes as software, worldwide. Punk & Grunge Punk and then Grunge typography was created by ripping up or photocopying over and over again. Then around 1995 House Industries put out a font collection called Flyer Fonts created mostly through their own over enthusiastic use use of their copy machine. Now angry fonts such as these are mainstream, Crackhouse is included on the Macintosh operating system.Hop on the nostalgia train for a second. Think back to the 90s. To Nirvana, Linklaters Slacker, and the flannel-clad rebels on the run from the 80s. To skateboards and graffiti and toe rings and VHS tapes. Things were messy then. And type design was messy, too. Words were splayed and chaotic, letters blurred. Textures were thick and heavy. Concert posters looked like someone had splattered paint on paper and then scratched out band names. You may have noticed it, you may not have, but at its peak, this typography style, called grunge, was ubiquitous. Alternative music cds, videogames, and zinesall the aggregate products of a wayward generationappropriated its unfinished and frenzied aesthetic, and it became the largest, most cohesive movement in recent font design history. It was every where and then it wasnt. David Carson, the acclaimed graphic designer who created Ray Gun magazine, is the so-called Godfather of Grunge. His method was simple, his gospel twofold: you dont have to know the rules before breaking them, and never mistake legibility for communication. His covers for Ray Gun were bold and often disorienting. He once disliked a Ray Gun article on Bryan Ferry, and so set the entire spread in Zapf Dingbats.

Punk

Grunge

Ray Gun Hop on the nostalgia train for a second. Think back to the 90s. To Nirvana, Linklaters Slacker, and the flannel-clad rebels on the run from the 80s. To skateboards and graffiti and toe rings and VHS tapes. Things were messy then. And type design was messy, too. Words were splayed and chaotic, letters blurred. Textures were thick and heavy. Concert posters looked like someone had splattered paint on paper and then scratched out band names. You may have noticed it, you may not have, but at its peak, this typography style, called grunge, was ubiquitous. Alternative music cds, videogames, and zinesall the aggregate products of a wayward generationappropriated its unfinished and frenzied aesthetic, and it became the largest, most cohesive movement in recent font design Ray Gun Cover by history. David Carson & Chris Ashworth The Ray Gun Effect David Carson, the acclaimed graphic designer who created Ray Gun magazine, is the so-called Godfather of Grunge. His method was simple, his gospel twofold: you dont have to know the rules before breaking them, and never mistake legibility for communication. Carsons technique of ripping, shredding, and remaking letters touched a nerve. His covers for Ray Gun were bold and often disorienting. He once disliked a Ray Gun article on Bryan Ferry, and so set the entire spread in Zapf Dingbats. Carlos Segura, a Chicago-based graphic designer and founder of Segura Inc. and such type foundries as T-26, was a close witness to the grunge explosion. Signature grunge fonts, such as Hat Nguyens Droplet, Harriet Gorens Morire, and Eric Lins Tema Cantante were all distributed by his foundries.

Helvectica Linotype Helvetica was introduced in 1957 and is still one of the most commonly used typefaces that is used today. Helvetica was developed in 1957 by Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann at the Haassche Schriftgiesserei. Haas set out to design a new sans-serif typeface that could compete with the successful Akzidenz-grotesk in the Swiss market. Originally called Neue Haas Grotesk, its design was based on Schelter-Grotesk and Haas Normal Grotesk The aim of the new design was to create a neutral typeface that had great clarity, no intrinsic meaning in its form, and could be used on a wide variety of signage.Near history. Oldstyle serif, traditional serif, modern serif , egyptian & sans serif are some of the basic styles of typeface in use today. There are always new sub-styles being created, and old styles are changing and evolving.

Ray Gun Covers

A quote from Harriet Goren When I made Morire, I had been a designer for a couple of years and was really bored with what I was doing, Goren told me. I spent a lot of time looking at contemporary typography and observing what was going on. I didnt really consider myself part of any movement. I read an article, in Time magazine of all places, of a school in Camden, Maine called the Centre for Creative Imaging. The article said it was like being in Florence during the Renaissance. I immediately thought I have to go there. Harriet Goren

Harrirt Gorens Morire Font