Some Notes on Typography (from Fundamentals of Graphic Design)

Survey of Design
The Fundamentals of Graphic Design

Gavin Ambrose + Paul Harris
An AVA Book
Published by AVA Publishing SA
Case Postale
1000 Lausanne 6

Typeface and font are two words that are often used synonymously. However they actually have distinct meanings.

Typeface – is a combination of characters, letters, numbers, symbols, punctuation, and other marks that share a similar design.

Font – traditionally something physical, such as lithographic film or metal type characters. Used between the Industrial Revolution and the 1980’s.

Family – typeface classification

Early typeface foundries: Emigre, FontFont, Jeremy Tankard

Tracking – works on the horizontal plane, the amount of space the exists between the letters of words.

Kerning – space between just two letters

Leading – works on the vertical plane, the space between the lines in a text block

Glyph switching or flipping is where a digital typeface contains multiple versions of characters enabling a design to create an eclectic look within the limitations of a single character set.

Microsoft web safe fonts (2009): Arial, Courier New, Georgia, Times New Roman, Verdana, Trebuchet Ms, and Lucida Sans

Typography – is the means by which a written idea is given a visual form. Establishes the character and emotional attributes of a design. The visual form it takes affects the accessibility of an idea and how a reader to it.

1970’s Audi Fox poster, Helmu Krone

Space, Derwent London biannual publication designed by Studio Myerscough.

Bonfire, Research Studio

Big Lottery Fund, The Team

Seduced, Research Studio

Thermographic ink – for raised lettering a powder is applied to wet ink and then placed in an oven to create a raised texture.


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