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Type Anatomy & Classification

Type Anatomy & Classification



An overview of the anatomy of type, the categories into which typefaces are classified, & examples.

An overview of the anatomy of type, the categories into which typefaces are classified, & examples.



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    Type Anatomy & Classification Type Anatomy & Classification Presentation Transcript

    • typeanatomy+ classification
    • letterformanatomy
    • dot shoulder stem or main stroke terminal counter crossbar bowl HtiQfgxR earascent linecap line ascendermean line linkbaseline crossbar juncture or jointdescent line leg serif tail loop or bowl a A G v p fi apexcap height diagonal x-height aperture throat vertex descender spur ligature adobe garamond pro
    • cap height x-height Romancap height x-height Italic SMALL CAPScap height x-height minion pro
    • cap height 0123456789 x-height lining figures 0123456789cap height x-height non-lining (old style) figures adobe jenson pro
    • HH bracketed serif stem terminal bracket H hairline serif H didot fillet slab serifadobe garamond pro caecilia
    • opticalcompensation
    • diagonal strokes narrow toward EOAV the apex + vertex curved forms extend below baseline + above cap line apex + vertex extend beyond cap line + baseline middle cross barshorter than top + bottom bars futura
    • Xthin stroke offsetto give illusion ofunbroken line didot
    • EA EA EA EAunivers 45 light univers 55 roman univers 65 bold univers 75 black To preserve the integrity of the size and shape of letterforms as the weight of a face increases, changes must be made to prevent counterforms from filling in. univers
    • typeclassification
    • Blackletter texturaOld Style bemboTransitional baskervilleModern bodoniSlab Serif clarendonSans Serif universDisplay cooper black
    • BlackletterBy current standards, this style of type is not aclassified form.Highly decorative, gothic style appears heavy onthe page.Based on early written forms but designed toaccommodate full character positions withmoveable type.The Gutenberg Bible—the first book producedwith moveable type—was set with Blackletter.
    • Blackletter Textura c. 1150 Fraktur c. 1493
    • Old StyleDeveloped by Renaissance designers who refinedarchaic letterforms.Characterized by:• Roman proportion• contrasting stroke weight which references right-hand drawn letters• oblique axis in curved forms• relatively short x-height
    • stress axis as much cap height less thanas 23° from vertical ascender height Old Style high crossbar geralde: horizontal crossbar venetian: angled crossbar Bembo c. 1495 Caslon 1720–66 Centaur 1912–14 Garamond c. 1561 Jenson c. 1469
    • centaur, designed bybruce rogers between 1912 + 1914, may be the most beautiful typeface of all time.
    • TransitionalEvolved out of the old style faces.Changes in structure include:• stroke contrast that is less derivative of the pen or brush• contrast becomes rhythmic and distinct• greater x-height• move toward upright axis• greater serif definition
    • cap height equal to ascender height stress axis 2° to 4° Transitional from vertical largerx-height Baskerville c. 1750 Mrs Eaves 1996 Bell 1788 Perpetua 1929
    • ModernRadical departure from hand-drawn origins.Stroke contrast is extreme—thin strokes arereduced to hairline.Serifs are typically unbracketed hairline strokes.Axis is always vertical.More consistency in letter width.First developed by Giambattista Bodoni(1740–1813), and Firmin Didot (1764–1836).
    • cap height equal to ascender heightModern vertical stress axisBodoni 1765–1813Didot 1799–1811
    • chuck klostermanset one of his books entirely in bodoni. it is unreadable.
    • Slab SerifAlso known as Egyptian typefaces.Became popular after Napoleon invaded Egypt.Also influenced by the use of wood-blocktypesetting in the American mid-west.Characterized by heavy, usually unbracketedserifs and minimal stroke contrast; serifs andstems typically share the same weight.
    • cap height equal to ascender heightSlab Serif vertical stress axis Caecilia 1991 Clarendon 1845 Rockwell 1934 Melior 1952
    • Sans SerifgrotesqueFirst appeared in 1816 (Caslon Type Specimen).Originally set in uppercase for display type andbecame known as grotesques.Characterized by a lack of serifs; stroke weightis more uniform; the axis is upright.
    • verticalSans Serif stress axis grotesque Akzidenz Grotesk 1896 Franklin Gothic 1902 Helvetica Neue 1957/1983 Trade Gothic 1948 Univers 1957
    • Sans SerifgeometricEarly 20th century.Influenced by design movements such as ArtDeco and Bauhaus.Form is simplified to pure geometric shapes;vertical axis, little or no stroke contrast.
    • vertical stress axisSans Serif geometricFutura 1926–27Avenir 1988FF DIN 1936/1995Gotham 2000
    • you will neveruse futura again after you graduate.
    • Sans SerifhumanistMore organic in appearance and origin.Stroke weight is based on optical equivalencerather than pure geometry or right-handedstroke contrast.Humanist faces tend to be very legible.
    • Sans Serif vertical stress axis humanist Frutiger 1975 Gill Sans 1926 Johnston 1916 Optima 1952–55
    • you will neveruse gill sans againafter you graduate...
    • unless your creative director is british,in which case you will use nothing else. ever.
    • DisplayDecorative typefaces that do not fit in elsewhere.Generally used at large sizes.In most cases, very difficult to read at body textsizes and quantities.
    • DisplayCooper Black 1921BIFUR 1929Neuropol 2003Hobo 1910VTC BAD VISION 2008
    • a displaytypeface can be a dangerous weapon. use with caution.
    • 09/2011 christophermoorehead