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Typography

Typography traces its origins to the first punches and dies used to make seals and currency in ancient times. The uneven spacing of the impressions on brick stamps found in the Mesopotamian cities of Uruk and Larsa, dating from the 2nd millennium BC, may have been evidence of type where the reuse of identical characters were applied to create cuneiform text. Babylonian cylinder seals were used to create an impression on a surface by rolling the seal on wet clay. Typography was also realized in the Phaistos Disc, an enigmatic Minoan print item from Crete, Greece, which dates between 1850 and 1600 BC. It has been proposed that Roman lead pipe inscriptions were created by movable type printing, but German typographer Herbert Brekle recently dismissed this view.

The essential criterion of type identity was met by medieval print artifacts such as the Latin Pruefening Abbey inscription of 1119 that was created by the same technique as the Phaistos disc. The silver altarpiece of patriarch Pellegrinus II (1195−1204) in the cathedral of Cividale was printed with individual letter punches. The same printing technique can apparently be found in 10th to 12th century Byzantine reliquaries.Individual letter tiles where the words are formed by assembling single letter tiles in the desired order were reasonably widespread in medieval Northern Europe.

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Elements of an image that distract from the intended subject, or in the case of photography, objects in the same focal plane, are not considered negative space. Negative space may be used to depict a subject in a chosen medium by showing everything around the subject, but not the subject itself. Use of negative space will produce a silhouette of the subject. Most often, negative space is used as a neutral or contrasting background to draw attention to the main subject, which then is referred to as the positive space.

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Typography with movable type was invented in 11th-century China by Bi Sheng (990–1051) during the Song Dynasty. His movable type system was manufactured from ceramic materials, and clay type printing continued to be practiced in China until the Qing Dynasty. Wang Zhen was one of the pioneers of wooden movable type. Although the wooden type was more durable under the mechanical rigors of handling, repeated printing wore the character faces down, and the types could only be replaced by carving new pieces. Metal type was first invented in Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty around 1230. Hua Sui introduced bronze type printing to China in 1490 AD. However, the diffusion of both movable-type systems was limited and the technology did not spread beyond East Asia.

typoshotModern movable type, along with the mechanical printing press, is most often attributed to the goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg, who independently invented the technology in mid-15th century Germany. His type pieces from a lead-based alloy suited printing purposes so well that the alloy is still used today. Gutenberg developed specialized techniques for casting and combining cheap copies of letterpunches in the vast quantities required to print multiple copies of texts. This technical breakthrough was instrumental in starting the Printing Revolution and printing the world’s first book (with movable type) the Gutenberg Bible. Computer technology revolutionized typography in the 20th century. Personal computers in the 1980s like the Macintosh allowed type designers to create types digitally using commercial graphic design software. Digital technology also enabled designers to create more experimental typefaces, alongside the practical fonts of traditional typography. Designs for typefaces could be created faster with the new technology, and for more specific functions. The cost for developing typefaces was drastically lowered, becoming widely available to the masses. The change has been called the “democratization of type” and has given new designers more opportunities to enter the field.

typobike

This is just a bike

The design of typography has developed alongside the development of typesetting systems. Although typography has evolved significantly from its origins, it is a largely conservative art that tends to cleave closely to tradition. This is because legibility is paramount, and so the types that are the most readable are often retained. In addition, the evolution of typography is inextricably intertwined with lettering by hand and related art forms, especially formal styles, which thrived for centuries preceding typography, and so the evolution of typography must be discussed with reference to this relationship. The typeface chosen should be legible. That is, it should be read without effort. In general, typefaces that are true to the basic letterforms are more legible than typefaces that have been condensed, expanded, embellished, or abstracted.

The design of typography has developed alongside the development of typesetting systems. Although typography has evolved significantly from its origins, it is a largely conservative art that tends to cleave closely to tradition. This is because legibility is paramount, and so the types that are the most readable are often retained. In addition, the evolution of typography is inextricably intertwined with lettering by hand and related art forms, especially formal styles, which thrived for centuries preceding typography, and so the evolution of typography must be discussed with reference to this relationship. The typeface chosen should be legible. That is, it should be read without effort. In general, typefaces that are true to the basic letterforms are more legible than typefaces that have been condensed, expanded, embellished, or abstracted.

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In the nascent stages of European printing, the type (blackletter, or Gothic) was designed in imitation of the popular hand-lettering styles of scribes. Initially, this type was difficult to read, because each letter was set in place individually and made to fit tightly into the allocated space. The art of manuscript writing, whose origin was in Hellenistic and Roman bookmaking, reached its zenith in the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. Metal types notably altered the style, making it “crisp and uncompromising”, and also brought about “new standards of composition”. Claude Garamond, during the Renaissance period, was partially responsible for the adoption of Roman typeface in France, which supplanted Gothic (blackletter) fonts, which were more common. Roman type was also based on hand-lettering styles.

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The Roman typeface’s development can be traced back to Greek lapidary letters. Although Greek lapidary letters are not examples of typography, since they were carved into stone, they were nonetheless “one of the first formal uses of Western letterforms”; after that, Roman lapidary letterforms transitioned into the monumental capitals, which laid the foundation for Western typographical design, especially serif typefaces. There are two styles of Roman typography: the old style, and the modern. The former is characterized by its similarly-weighted lines, while the latter is distinguished by its contrast of light and heavy lines. These styles are often combined.

What a lovely place, isn’t it?

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Experimental typography is defined as the unconventional and more artistic approach to setting type. Francis Picabia was a Dada pioneer in the early 20th Century. David Carson is often associated with this movement, particularly for his work in Ray Gun magazine in the 1990s. His work caused an uproar in the design community due to his abandonment of standards in typesetting practices, layout, and design. Experimental typography places emphasis on communicating emotion, rather than on legibility.

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In contemporary use, the practice and study of typography is very broad, covering all aspects of letter design and application, both mechanical (typesetting and type design) and manual (handwriting and calligraphy). In traditional typography, text is composed to create a readable, coherent, and visually satisfying whole that works invisibly, without the awareness of the reader. Even distribution of typeset material, with a minimum of distractions and anomalies, is aimed at producing clarity and transparency.

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Unordered Lists

An ordered (enumerated) list. The type attribute can be used to specify the kind of ordering, but style sheets give more control: {list-style-type: foo}. The default is Arabic numbering. To use the type attribute, use “< ol type=foo >”, replacing foo with one of the following:

  • Html 5
  • CSS 3
  • jQuery

Ordered Lists

Ordered (numerated) list. Style sheets can be used to specify the list marker: {list-style-type: foo}. The default marker is a disc. UL existed in HTML Tags, and was standardized in HTML 2.0; still current.

  1. Html 5
  2. CSS 3
  3. jQuery