Typography Sumerian and Egyptians and their use

Typography
is the art of arranging letters and letters themselves. It has been
said that there has been three major font families in the history of
western printing which are Black Letter (also know by the term
Gothic) Roman and Italic all of which have their origin in the art of
Calligraphy. However some might argue that typography goes all the
way back to the ancient Chinese, Sumerian and Egyptians and their use
of pictographs which evolved into ideographs which were more abstract
versions of pictures and symbols.
Alphabets
would not be developed until about 1200 BC when the Phoenicians
developed theirs. The Greeks would then take this and add vowels then
later the Romans would develop their alphabet with 23 letters derived
from the Greek and Etruscan with the letters U,V and W being added by
the year 1500 along with punctuation marks.
Around
about 1040 in China someone by the name of Bi Sheng developed a clay
method of printing which would later change to a wooden block method,
this however had problems as the wooden blocks would wear out and
would need replacing however it still allowed printing to scale up.
Modern
printing is credited to Johannes Gutenberg in the 1400’s as he was
the one who established the moveable method of metallic type which
would become the definitive form of printing from then on.
Claude
Garamond created the Garamond typeface which was a modern looking
type face like what we are used of today instead of the handwriting
typefaces that were common until then. Later would come John
Baskerville with a Roman -esque typeface with sharp serifs. In 1780
Modern Romans would be created by Firmin Didot and Giambattista
Bodoni. It would not be until 1816 that the first sans serif would be
created by William Caslon IV.
By
the 20th century there were many different typefaces
available and being created by different typographers one of the most
prolific of which was Fredric Goudy who was responsible for the
creation of Broadway and Goudy Stout typefaces.
With
the proliferation of computers in the 20th century
typefaces and fonts expanded even more with Helvetica created by Max
Miedinger in 1954 becoming one of the most popular.
Modern
typography leans more towards Sans Serif fonts because of their
simplicity and legibility and because they make it easier to
distinguish word patterns. However
one of the biggest problems in the modern era of fonts is that not
all web browsers support all fonts so web designers have to use web
safe fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Courier New when designing
for text on the web.

Book The
Hound Of The Baskervilles By Arthur Conan doyle
Book
cover Font Baskerville Old Style Regular.
Typographer
John Baskerville

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