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  • Here, we're going to look at some basic differences with fonts.

  • And, then we're going to look at handwriting.

  • The first thing to see is serifs.

  • These red sections in this font here are called "serifs".

  • "Serif" means "decoration".

  • "Sans" means "without".

  • A serif font has serifs.

  • A sans serif font does not have serifs.

  • So, the first question about a font is whether it is a serif or a sans serif font.

  • The second question is whether the font is monospace or proportional.

  • A proportional font has letters with different widths.

  • The "l" is usually the skinniest or one of the skinniestor "slimmest".

  • "m" is usually wider.

  • "n" is somewhat in between.

  • Theoretically, an "m" should be twice as wide as an "n".

  • And, that is a proportional font.

  • But, in a monospace font, every letter has the same width.

  • From each letter to the next, the width will be the same.

  • A monospace font is very useful for a typewriter... or for accounting or computer coding.

  • So that row after row after row, all the letters line up equally and evenly.

  • Typing with computer code will usually use a monospace font.

  • A monospace font can be a serif font or it can be a sans serif font.

  • Now, this "L" has a serif on the top and a tail on the bottom.

  • But, that is only as much as is needed to make the width of the "L"...

  • match the same as the "N" and the "M".

  • Other than this, there won't be serifs in this font.

  • So, even though it has a serif for the purpose of width,

  • it is still a sans serif font.

  • This, however...

  • This "L" has a serif on the bottom, clearly, not merley a tail.

  • And, you can also see the serifs on the "m" and the "n".

  • Now, over here we have five fonts.

  • And, these same five fonts are described up here.

  • Now, for my title for each of these fonts I'm using the "Ubuntu" font, in case you're curious.

  • But, don't worry about that.

  • Focus on the font with A-Z.

  • The first font here, at the top, is called "Junicode".

  • This is a Roman font.

  • And, of course, that means it's a serif font because a Roman font is a serif font by definition.

  • The first Roman font was invented by Nicolas Jenson in 1470.

  • He was inspired by capital letters on Roman buildings.

  • And then, he took the lower-case letters from Italian renaissance scholars' handwriting

  • and then made them look a little bit like they belonged with the capital letters that he made

  • by adding serifs to the lower-case letters and making them look more "machine-like"

  • and not so much "hand-written".

  • You don't really see a lot of calligraphy in this Roman font.

  • In 1728, William Caslon, in England, made kind of an "update" to a Roman font.

  • Then, a few years later, his great grandson, William Caslon IV, invented the sans serif font.

  • In the beginning it was called "grotesque".

  • That was 1816.

  • About 100 years later, we began to see neo-grotesque fonts,

  • which were a little more carefully made.

  • The most famous neo-grotesque font is Helvetica.

  • Another famous one font is Arial, which is a variation of Helvetica.

  • But, Helvetica is much more "carefully beautiful".

  • And, many people think that Helvetica is the world's "favorite font".

  • Many brands, many company logos, many government road signs,

  • even the "Nutrition Facts" label on most cereal boxes use Helvetica.

  • Governments even say that the correct font to use in the "Nutrition Facts" label

  • should include a font such as Helvetica.

  • And, it actually names "Helvetica" as an example.

  • There is a long history of how Helvetica was made and even a movie named after it — a documentary.

  • Helvetica is very beautifully balanced.

  • And, the reason I think Helvetica is such a good font is because you don't even really think about it.

  • You don't really think about how the letters look. You only think about the words.

  • And, that is kind of the idea of what a font should do.

  • Arial is a little bit similar,

  • but some of the beautiful parts that balance Helvetica aren't included in Arial.

  • They are changed a little bit.

  • And, you can use Google and do some research and find the differences.

  • After the neo-grotesque fonts, we had other sans serif fonts called "Humanist".

  • And, those are sans serif fonts,

  • but inside of the letters are some artistic pieces that include traditional calligraphy.

  • Now, I don't mean "calligraphy" in the sense that it belongs in the heading of a newspaper.

  • But, some of the beautiful stroke differences, as characters change between wide and narrow from calligraphy,

  • can be seen inside the sans serif font.

  • And, that is called a "humanist sans serif" font.

  • There is a lot of study you can do about this.

  • The important thing to understand is that there were three main types of sans serif fonts:

  • The grotesque, which was the original type of sans serif fonts.

  • And, the neo-grotesque, which were a little more carefully made,

  • and that is what most sans serif fonts we use today are.

  • And then, the humanist sans serif fonts, which most people can't see the difference between

  • but, they have a little more subtle art inside them.

  • After these three sans serif fonts, we had another type of font

  • called the "geometric sans serif".

  • And, that came during the "Art Deco" era.

  • The first geometric sans serif font was invented by Paul Renner.

  • And, that was used in 1927.

  • The thing to notice about geometric sans serif fonts

  • and what makes them different from other sans serif fonts is the perfect circles.

  • And, there are other things, such as perfect triangles...

  • Not necessarily equilateral triangles, but what I say is "perfect triangles".

  • They have lots of vertical lines and perfect circles...

  • The "e" the "d" the "c" the "b" the "a"...

  • See the "n" and the "m"...

  • Lots of big circles, lots of big similarities between the letters...

  • Basic shapes appearing everywhere.

  • That's called a "geometric sans serif font".

  • The "o" and the "b" and the "a" and the "p" in the other type of sans serif fonts

  • don't have those perfect circles.

  • The best types of fonts for reading, such as in a book or in a newspaper article

  • or in an article on the Internet, is either a Roman serif font

  • or one of the three original types of sans serif fonts.

  • That is because each letter is very different from all the other letters.

  • The "b" has a certain way it looks.

  • And, it is not necessarily just a "d" that is turned around.

  • The "a" is different also.

  • The "o" and the "p" and the "q".

  • But, when we look at a geometric sans serif font,

  • there are so many similarities between the letters that

  • if you stand far away, all you see is circles and vertical lines.

  • But, with a traditional sans serif font or a Roman font,

  • even though you may not be able to see all the letters very, very clearly,

  • you can still tell which letter letter is which because each letter is so unique.

  • But, with the geometric sans serif font, there are so many similarities

  • in circles and triangles and lines and squares in the letters

  • that it's a little more difficult to tell them apart from a distance far away.

  • And, that means reading is just a little bit slower

  • if you're reading a large article.

  • But, a geometric sans serif font can be wonderful for a sign or for a header, for the title

  • or sort of a title section in an article.

  • And, that is one way to design the layout in what we call "Typography"

  • on your blog or in your articles or in a paper you might write and an essay.

  • For the title are, you might use a geometric sans serif font.

  • In the body, you'd want to use a normal sans serif or a Roman serif font.

  • Then, we have our monospace fonts.

  • This first one is called "Courier 10 Pitch".

  • The first courier font was invented by Howard Kettler.

  • And, he had an interesting nickname if you look him up.

  • He designed it to look like it came from a typewriter.

  • This is called a "slab serif" because the serifs are the same width as the rest of the letters.

  • This monospace font is a sans serif monospace font.

  • And, every letter has the same width as every other letter...

  • capital, lower-case, even the numbers and that is very good to make them line up straight.

  • Here are some examples of the five fonts above.

  • This first Roman font is called "Junicode".

  • This one is actually called "Sans-Serif".

  • This geometric sans is called "Quicksand".

  • William Caslon really started the change and development of the Roman fonts as we know them today.

  • From about 1700 to about 1800 is the best way to understand.

  • Caslon's Roman font styles are still considered to be mostly "humanist Roman" font styles,

  • which came even before the "old style".

  • They had a little bit of calligraphy inside of them, like I mentioned before.

  • But, that is almost too much to think about.

  • Mainly consider that in the 1700s, there were three main types of Roman fonts.

  • The old style font, such as Garamond and others...

  • Then came the "transitional".

  • John Baskerville actually met Benjamin Franklin.

  • And, Benjamin Franklin was so excited about the transitional Roman fonts

  • that he went back to America with some of them.

  • And, probalby, while those early American writers

  • the people who had ideas that led to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

  • while they were writing about the problems of Feudalism

  • their publications were probably printed using transitional fonts.

  • Then, at the close of the 1700s, Didot and Bodoni, in 1799 and 1800 respectively,

  • made the "modern" font.

  • The old style fonts were very, very round and beautiful.

  • If you look closely, you can see that this oval

  • in the counter of the "P" is at a slight angle.

  • Transitional fonts were a little bit more clean and clear and crisp.

  • Notice the clear edges on the serifs.

  • And, notice that the thin and thick are a little bit more different than the old style.

  • Moder Roman fonts were extremely sharp and cut and well-trimmed.

  • Notice how thick the lines areand thin.

  • A lot could be said about this.

  • The important thing that I want to tell you is...

  • modern fonts really shouldn't be used in writing article and in large blocks of text,

  • such as magazine articles, blog posts, letters...

  • Just as with the geometric sans fonts, their letters are too "beautiful" and too similar,

  • making it a little bit difficult to read.

  • When you are writing large blocks of text you want to stick to old style and transitional,

  • what we might consider "normal" Roman fonts.

  • The modern, along with the geometric sans serif fonts, should be saved for titles.

  • They really are beautiful, they just don't belong in large blocks of text.

  • The geometric sans fonts, very similarly to the Roman modern fonts,

  • were meant to be very, very beautiful, in a "modern-artistic" way.

  • But, they were never intended to be used for handwriting.

  • Here are some geometric sans fonts.

  • One of my favorites is "Questrial".

  • (That's why I put it here.)

  • This is "Sinkin Sans". And,

  • here is "Quicksand", that we looked at before.

  • Here is another font called "Primer Print".

  • This probably isn't used in schools for teaching.

  • But, it is intended to be a font that looks like the types of

  • school-teaching handwriting that schools use, when they are teaching students, unfortunately,

  • to write with the geometric sans style.

  • If you saw letters like this, trying to teach you to write like this,

  • I feel very sorry for you.

  • This is not how we want to write.

  • Unfortunately, many schools and many writing curricula used fonts like this

  • to try to teach writing.

  • And, they are getting this handwriting teaching style from geometric sans fonts.

  • And, that's never the way it was intended to be.

  • We will look more at handwriting fonts later.

Here, we're going to look at some basic differences with fonts.

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Fonts

  • 52 7
    Jesse Steele posted on 2017/05/18
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