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 Gutenberg came along and revolutionized the world of communication, books needed to be scribed by hand, usually by months. It was very time-consuming and expensive. So Gutenberg created Blackletter, the first ever typeface, modeled after the writing of the scribes.
Blackletter has thick vertical lines and thin horizontal connecters, which made it great for scribing, but they look 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 fifteenth century by the Frenchman 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 letterforms were based on straight lines and regular curves. This made them very clear legible compared to the dense darkness of Blackletter. This legible new typeface was an instant success and quickly spread across Europe, riding on the coattails 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 fifteenth century by all these Venetians 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. All these Venetians also created the modern comma and semicolon, but that's another story.
Type development stayed fairly stagnant until the eighteenth century in England when William Caslon created the 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 brick named John Baskerville created a new variety of typeface, which we called Transitional. Later still, a Frenchman 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 strokes. 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 IV, got sick of all these serifs, so he dicided 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.
接著，William Caslon的曾孫，叫做William Caslon四世，厭倦了所有這些襯線，於是他決定了完全拿掉它們並做了個新種的字體，叫做「無襯線體」。它並沒有立刻流行起來但最終會變得非常大受歡迎。
During the Second Industrial Revolution, advertising created the need for new typefaces. Letter 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 this experimentation is Egyptian or Slab Serif. It has really thick serifs, and it's usually used for titles.
As a backlash to the complexity found in typefaces of the nineteenth century, the early twentieth century brought something simple.
Paul Renner from Germany created a typeface called Futura, and it was based on simple geometric shapes. This is called the Geometric Sans. Around the same time, a British man Eric Gill, created the typeface called Gill Sans that was similar to the Geometric Sans but with gentler and more natural curves, and this is called the Humanist Sans.
德國的Paul Renner創造出了一個叫做「Futura體」的字體，它是根基於簡單的幾何形狀。這叫做「幾何無襯線體」。約莫在同一個時間，一位英國人Eric Gill創造出了叫做「Gill Sans體」的字體，它類似「幾何無襯線體」但有著較和緩且更天然的弧線，這個叫做「Humanist Sans體」。
The next major step in the world of Sans Serif happened in Switzerland in 1957 with the introduction of Helvetica. It has simple curves and is available in many different widths. And someone called 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 crude Pixel Type due to the primitive screen technology. But then technology evolved, and computers began to allow for the creation of thousands of beautiful typefaces, and the other...done.
But now anyone has the freedom to create their own unique typeface. And that is the history of typography.
- 「出現、進展」- Come Along
Before Gutenberg "came along" and revolutionized the world of communication, books needed to be scribed by hand, usually by months.
- 「搭便車、靠裙帶關系榮升、沾某人的光」- Riding On The Coattails
This legible new typeface was an instant success and quickly spread across Europe, "riding on the coattails" of the Renaissance.
- 「尋找、期待」- Look For
Well, it wasn't anything radical. It was just what the world was "looking for".
- 「流行、變得流行」- Catch On
It didn't "catch on" immediately but would eventually get really big.
- 「允許、考慮到」- Allow For
But then technology evolved, and computers began to allow for the creation of thousands of beautiful typefaces, and the other…done.