History of Typography Part One
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, the reality is that the first moveable type was first invented in China during the 11th century.
Previously, Chinese printers had used woodcuts, carving each individual page out of a piece of wood, a highly laborious and time consuming process.
But we can tell that the first person that made the typography as a design was Mr. Gutenberg. With the creation of the Blackletter font, the first ever typeface, modeled after the writing of the scribes.
Blackletter has thick vertical lines and thin horizontal connectors which made it great for scribing but it looked very dense and squished together when printed. Things needed to change.
Throughout history, typefaces have been influenced by technological advances, culture shifts, and just general boredom with the state of typography. Here’s how it all went down:
1400’s: Guttenberg invented movable typefaces, giving the world a cheaper way to obtain the written word. Up until this point, all written materials were done by hand, and were very costly to purchase.
Guttenberg also created the first typeface, blackletter, it was dark, fairly practical, and intense, but not very legible.
1470: Nicolas Jenson created Roman Type, inspired by the text on ancient roman buildings. It was far more readable than blackletter, and caught on quickly.
1501: Aldus Manutius created italics, a way to fit more words onto a page, saving the printer money. Today, we use italics as a design detail or for emphasis when writing. It is used in creating invitation card.