The History of Type


• The use of type plays an important role in these modern times.

• Mass production of the written word goes back a millennia. Type was used in currency, seals etc.

• Johannes Gutenberg created the first mass produced book, The Gutenberg Bible (1450)

• Style with regard to type began its own transformation. The difficult to read black letter type in Gutenberg’s work gave way for the need for easier to read type.

• As centuries past, printing became a viable industry and the use of moveable type transformed the page alongside transforming the world.

• Once the Industrial Revolution came along, the need for faster communication came.
 
• New ways to draw attention to printed material created a new kind of industry, advertising.

• Advertising created exciting, new designs using type.

• In 1895, Tolbert Lanston created the monotype system.
 
• The operator used a keyboard that created coded paper. This was then used to direct the hot metal casting to create text.

• Large companies used these machines to create flyers and advertisements at that time.

• Cold press type, (Digital) was now invented and was replacing mechanical hot press type.

• Photo type setting was being driven by the computer age and by the mid 1980s the typographic industry was preparing for a technological transformation.

• The new digital age was changing the printing and typographic industries.

• Graphic software made it possible for film to be digitally created.

• Fonts the new terms for typefaces were coming more and more abundant.

• Font creating programs were being created. Using a scanner the artist’s hand lettering could be converted to a font digitally.

• Linotype and monotype now had competition after the digital age became more mainstream.

• The trends today towards new creative font designs are stronger than ever.

 
• Font websites and the easy ability to download fonts allow users to have endless design possibilities.

 
• Remanence of the renaissance age is with us in terminology we still use today.

• Uppercase, lowercase, leading, kerning all have meaning that originated in an era past but will remain in the vocabulary that is the world of type.