Week 2: Letter & Text from Lupton

Part 1: Letter

In this chapter, an important thing I learned about typefaces is that all of them have historical relevance. Typefaces created in the 15th century diverged from the earlier gothic scripts to more open forms of handwriting in time for the Renaissance of classical art and literature. Later, during the rise of industrialization and the explosion of advertisement in the 19th century, the design of letters became dehumanized and became more architectural structures. The parts of classical letters were altered in new, strange ways. Due to the rise of electronic communication in the mid 1900s, typefaces were introduced that were made with straight lines that would be rendered more optimally on a screen. I also found it fascinating that some typefaces looked like the era they were designed in. The form of Garamond 3 actually represents the Great Depression era it was created, with its lean appearance. The fact that many typefaces have historical counterparts and are made with the tradition of older typefaces in mind, but can still convey the essence of the time period it was created during is very interesting.

Part 2: Text
This chapter really re-emphasized to me the importance of how the words are laid out on a space. From kerning to line spacing and alignment, all of the factors that go into designing bodies of text really influence how the reader, or the user, interprets the text and the page as a whole. These elements also affect the hierarchy of the text, which also helps the viewer navigate through all the information. I found that some of the things Lupton explained, I already have subconsciously noticed, but did not actually realize the reason behind it, such as when Lupton explained that small capitals appear more regal when more loosely tracked. Reading about the “method to the madness” of layout design and reading concrete explanations, rather than relying on intuitively experimenting with type while designing, will definitely help a lot in my future design projects. I also enjoyed reading the “Type Crimes,” since I sometimes find them while reading various things, yet there are some instances where the rules are broken and seems to work.



Leave a Reply