Friday, September 27, 2013

The Reading

Overall I think this weeks reading was the most helpful out of all of our readings so far. It touches on more than just the project we are currently working on. I found it interesting that the definitions given involved both digital and analog definitions. (Examples: bitmap, dpi, letterpress, chase, etc.) It gave me a good understanding of how things can transfer over from one type of media to another.

I enjoyed how they really hit on all the small aspects of hierarchy. Justification and alignment, type size, the order things need to appear, the media and materials used, the effect that each of the things give off, etc. Hierarchy is now one of the most important things in my head, a good design should most likely have a good distribution of hierarchy. It should be noticeable that hierarchy is there, and a good design/poster should lead you through what it needs to say, from first to last in order of importance.

  • Production and Reproduction
    • typography was first produced by inscription.
    • painted or inked on surfaces such as papyrus.
    • also made by impression.
    • now a days we use digital technology to produce type and then use the printing process.
    • typography is derived from Greek
      • "a blow" (typos)
      • "writing" (graphe)
  • The Four Typesetting Revolutions
  • Hand Typesetting: Metal and Wood
    • Gutenberg Bible is the first completed book, using movable type
    • emulates German gothic calligraphy of the period
    • type composer give way to using galleys
    • Nicolas Jenson
      • Venetian printer, in the late 15th century
      • designed a typeface that would significantly alter type design
      • letters are now casted from a mold so that they flow well together and become more identical
    • this endured through the late 18th century
    • stereotyping
  • Machine Typesetting: Hot Type
    • the Industrial Revolution gave way to many new mechanized forms of production, not just for type.
    • pantographic punch-cutter in 1884
    • Merganthaler Linotype
    • Lanston Monotype (1884/86)
    • chromolithographic printing becomes popular in the 19th century
    • continued to be used in the 1980's
  • Phototypesetting: Cold Type
    • first major movement away from physical nature of letterpress
    • quickly dominated graphic industry
    • New electronic tech and terms come into play
      • diatype
      • compugraphic
      • phototypositor
      • varityper
    • letterforms can now be twisted, stretched, angled, etc.
    • tbnt (tight but not touching)
    • K1/2U (kern one half unit)
  • Digital Typesetting: Room-Temperature Type
    • DTP
    • lots of advances, going from kilo to terabytes, 8 inch screens to room sized display
    • typefaces are now super precise
    • vector forms are now common

Typographic Craft
  • Type Craft
    • quotes such as "God is in the detail." and "The devil is in the detail." Describe that good or bad qualities in the craft really bring out the sense of sink or swim.
    • Peter Dormer
      • talks about personal know-how
      • and knowledge that empowers the maker to take charge of the tech.
    • Technology today challenges the know how in typographic practice.
    • digital practice starts to be look at as not craft but paint by numbers.
    • everyone is closer to making something but not everyone will be able to craft something
    • three active platers in typographic craft
      • the typographer
      • the tools
      • the artifact
    • PLINC
      • Photo Lettering Inc.
      • opted not to scan in the films
      • they felt it took away from the history and meaning of the type and process.
  • Means and Ends
    • Lots of names thrown out in this section.
    • Robert Massin
    • Wolfgang Weingart
    • Marian Bantjes
    • Natalya Monoline
  • Materiality and Message
    • different textured surfaces and processes can give a personality or feel to a type. It determines how we perceive it. 
    • before the 19th century books and prints were made by wood or metal type.
    • we live in confusing times as far as materiality is concerned.
  • Hierarchy
    • basically hierarchy comes down to left to right, front to back, and top to bottom....basically speaking.
    • multiple elements equal structure.
    • structure is necessary! especially for organizing large bodies of text.
    • animated typography employs another kind of structure. the linear timeline that creates a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Relational Hierarchy
    • primary, secondary, and tertiary order.
    • Primary is the largest most noticeable object.
    • Secondary might be below it, to the right of the object or just second largest.
    • Tertiary is the last object to be noticed due to smaller size, or general placement, etc.
    • spatial, distance based
    • temporal, time based.
    • both of the above are important typographic elements.
Hierarchy and Structure Part II
  • Letters aligned on a baseline to form text lines are the most elemental of typographic structures.
  • justification comes into play.
  • Left justified is easy to read, it is most common in newspapers and most bodies of text. 
  • Centered is fine as well, mostly used in posters.
  • Right is harder to read, and read slower. It should be used in small doses and not large bodies of text, maybe in columns.
  • symmetrical alignment on a central axis, asymmetrical alignment along a common axis, and right alignment are all structural schemes.

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