B2 High-Intermediate US 9664 Folder Collection
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The History Of Typography.
Type is power.
The power to express words and ideas visually.
It's timeless, but always changing.
And that's what we're going to explore.
Most people agree that the creator of typography was a German man named Johannes Gutenberg.
and yes he wore a hat like that.
Before Gutenburg came along and revolutionized the world of communication, books needed to be scribed by hand
usually by months which was very time consuming and expensive.
So Gutenburg created Blackletter, the first-ever typeface
modeled after the writings of scribes
Blackletter has thick vertical lines and thin horizontal connectors
which made it great for scribing but it looked very dense and squished together when printed.
Something needed to change.
Enter Roman type
This particular typeface is Cambria which you're probably used to seeing on your word processor.
But the first-ever Roman typeface was created in the 15th century by the French man Nicolas Jenson.
This is his typeface right here.
Jenson worked mainly in Venice, Italy, and was inspired by the lettering found on ancient Roman buildings.
His letter forms were based on straight lines and regular curves.
This made them very clear and legible compared to the dense darkness of Blackletter.
This legible new typeface was an instant success
and quickly spread across Europe, riding on the coattail of the Renaissance.
The next major innovation in typography after Roman letters was italics, which are like slanted and stylized versions of Roman type.
They were created in the late 15th century by Aldus Manutius from Italy as a way of fitting more letters onto the page and saving money.
Now we use Italics interspersed in Roman type for emphasis.
Aldus Manutius also created the modern comma and semi comma.
but that's another story.
Type development stayed fairly stagnant until the 18th century
in England when William Caslon created a typeface that set a new standard for legibility.
Well it wasn't anything radical. It was just what the world was looking for.
The style of Caslon's typeface is now referred to as old style.
A few decades later, another Brit named John Baskerville created a new variety of typeface which we call Transitional.
Later still, a French man named Didot and an Italian named Bodoni created typefaces that we've classified as Modern.
Most serif typefaces fit into one of these three categories
but what does each category mean?
An old style typeface has letters that have fixed serifs, and low contrast between thick and thin stroke.
A transitional typeface has letters with thinner serifs and a higher contrast between thick and thin strokes.
And a modern typeface has letters with very thin serifs, and extreme contrast between thick and thin strokes.
Next, William Caslon's great grandson, named William Caslon the fourth, got sick of all of these serifs
so he decided to remove them entirely, and made a new kind of typeface, called the Sans Serif.
It didn't catch on immediately, but would eventually get really big.
During the second industrial revolution, advertising created a need for new typefaces.
Letters were made taller
and wider, mainly used in large sizes on posters and billboards.
Things got pretty weird, but one happy result of all of these experimentation is Egyptian, or slab serif.
It has really thick serifs and it's usually used for titles.
As a backflash to the complexity found in typefaces of the 19th century
the early 20th century brought something simple.
Paul Renner from Germany created a typeface called Futura
that was based on simple geometric shapes.
This is called the Geometric Sans.
Around the same time, a British man named Eric Gill created a typeface called Gill Sans.
that was similar to the Geometric Sans, but with gentler, more nature curves.
And this is called the Humanist Sans.
The next major step in the world of sans serifs happened in Switzerland in 1957
with the introduction of Helvetica.
It has simple curves, and it's available in many different weights.
And some would call it the world's favorite typeface.
The world of typography changed forever with the introduction of the computer.
There were a few difficult years of cruel Pixel Type due to the primitive screen technology.
But then, technology evolved, and the computers begin to allow for the creation of thousands of beautiful typefaces.
And the odd..um..done.
But now anyone has the freedom to create their own unique typeface.
And that, is the history of typography.
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The History of Typography - Animated Short

9664 Folder Collection
Vicky published on August 12, 2014    Vicky translated    Christina Sun reviewed
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