LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY A basic Introduction by Dr. Tamer Assem LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY Introduction • Type is the means by which an idea is written and given visual form. Many typefaces in use today are based upon designs created in earlier historical epochs, and the characters themselves have a lineage that extends back thousands of years to the first mark-making by primitive man, when characters were devised to represent objects or concepts. LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY Definition Typography (from the Greek words τύπος (typos) = form and γραφή (graphe) = writing) is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. 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). LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY Type design is a closely related craft, which some consider distinct and others a part of typography; most typographers do not design typefaces, and some type designers do not consider themselves typographers. In modern times, typography has been put into motion — in film, television and online broadcasts — to add emotion to mass communication. LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY Typography is performed by: • Typesetters • Compositors • Typographers • Graphic Designers • Art Directors • Comic Book Artists • Graffiti Artists • Clerical Workers • Any other who arranges type for a product LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY Until the Digital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of visual designers and lay users, and it has been said that "typography is now something everybody does." LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY The History of TYPE LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY Before briefing the History and Evolution of type, it’s necessary to reveal the following points: * Language is not static: • Letters, languages and indeed typography develop and change over time as the dominant power inherits, alters, adapts and imposes its will on existing forms. • The modern Latin alphabet is a result of this ongoing transition that has been performed over several millennia. For example the modern letter ‘A’ was originally a pictogram representing an ox’s head, but as the Phoenicians wrote from right to left; the symbols was turned on its side. Under the Greek civilization this character was turned again as the Greeks generally (though not always), wrote from left to right. Finally, the Romans turned the character full circle, giving it the form that we recognize today. LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY * Reading Directions: The direction in which text is read varies and is based on historical factors such as how text used to be written. For example, Chinese calligraphers use a paint brush to draw ideograms and so it is easier to write down the page. Carving stone tablets by moving from right to left allows you to read what you have written, while the natural motion for writing with a pen (for right-handed people) is moving from left to right. Pictured below are outline for four systems: Latin Arabic Chinese Greek boustrophedon system LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY LETTERFORMS & TYPOGRAPHY * Important Terms: PHONOGRAM: A written symbol, letter, character or other mark that represents a sound, syllable, morpheme or word IDEOGRAM A graphic element that represents an idea or concept ICON A graphic element that represents an object, person or something else SYMBOL A graphic element that communicates the ideas and concepts that it represents rather than denoting what it actually is PICTOGRAM A graphic element that describes an action or series of actions through visual references or clues
"TYPO session 2"