Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Quotes from "Just My Type" Part 2

"Much of what one needs to know about the history and beauty of a typeface can be found in it's Ampersand"

It's a quote that can be applied to a practical choice in my context book (using the ampersand as the large letterform on the page, although this could be repetative and limiting) but also makes a point about the craft and detail that goes into individual letters. The ampersand of italicised garamond for example is very different to that of regular baskerville, though they're both similarly legible typefaces, there is a uniqueness and beauty to certain letterforms.

Noteble examples of this:

-Any pointed letter in futura, the A, W, M, N etc, as well as the O show the beatifully geometric shapes that it was based upon.

-The horse-tail like 'Q' in Baskerville. Which flows beautifully and elegantly.

-The 'W' in Garamond who's bars cross over rather than meeting in the middle, forming a shape now recogniseable as the 'VW' logo

There are others and I should get them for my type book as they would be good display letters to show what I mean when I'm talking about the beauty of individual typefaces.

Back to the book:
When talking about Helvetica and Univers: "They would sort out not just transport systems, but whole Cities"

I guess what's important about this quote is the demonstration of the power of type. It's ability to simplfy and make travel easier, to effect the day to day. This makes it beyond art, it is a vital function. The fact that it is beyond art at once makes it art. It's value when got right is so huge and significant, it's craft can only ever be considered an art.

On Gotham: "There are some typefaces that read as if everything written in them is honest."

Again a point already made about the power a typeface has to communicate beyond the basic letterforms themselves.

I think there's enough here, but I'll add more if I stumble upon any biggies upon reading. These quotes are going to be significant in the first book of my set "reasons type is an art"

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