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The History of Typography

  • • The first moveable form of type was in China, using ceramics to print the Chinese language of characters
  • • In Western culture, Gutenburg created the first mass produced book: The Bible
  • • Gutenburg’s hard-to-read black letters sparked a need for a simpler font • By 1470’s people such as French artist Nicholas Jenson started creating highly legible text, considered today as one of the greatest graphic masterpieces
  • His work lead others to follow suit: Baskerville, Bodoni, Calson Garamond and more
  • As time went of printing became a booming industry with the use of moveable type
  • The industrial revolution created a greater need for more printing this sees exciting new types emerge
  • By the late 1800s German immigrant Ottmar Mergenthaler invented the first device to easily set complete lines of type in printing presses
  • Linotype, Monotype and other systems were used by the large printing presses
  • The 20th century saw many advances in typography technology
  • The 1960’s being a colourful decade also saw new innovative typographic designs
  • Artists now had access to typography made by other artists
  • “Fonts” became the new term for typography in the 1990’s
  • Late 1990’s had become affordable for graphic designers, the scanner allowed them to draw in their own fonts which looked more like handwriting than the typical font