Secondary Source Research

A few highlights from my secondary source research (both the facts and my commentary):

  • Serifs

Serifs originated in ancient Roman times, when words were carved in stone. These small lines carved on the ends of strokes kept the stone from cracking…So interesting!

Serif typefaces have lost popularity in the modern world, but the more I learn about historical typefaces, the more I appreciate them. The idea that the materials used for presenting ancient typography (carved stone) dictated the development of serifs adds an incredibly interesting layer of complexity to this timeless typographic element. Serif typefaces have a foundation not just in two-dimensional art and design, but also in sculpture.

Thank you to Professor Bridget Sullivan of Towson University for her lecture, “The History of Typography.” This was just one of the interesting facts presented.

  • Baskerville

Baskerville. A radical but legendary serif typeface…What could be better than that? Baskerville was founded in the mid-1700s. Using strong contrast between thick and thin strokes “was denounced by many of his contemporaries as amateur and extremist” (Thinking with Type, Ellen Lupton).

There is an interesting lesson to learn from Baskerville; the innovative and deviant usage of classic typeface elements can lead to truly timeless designs.

Lupton, Ellen. Thinking with Type. Second, Revised and Expanded ed. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010. Print.

  • Humanist vs. Old Style

I have been having some trouble differentiating between humanist and Old Style typography. Here are a couple of links that shed light on that:

Humanist Typography

Old Style Typography

It’s all in the e’s.


A Preface to the First Wave of Research

Wow! The past few weeks have been full of learning about and experimenting with typography.  As a preface for the following posts, here is a brief outline of my research from the past few weeks.

  • History (Secondary Sources)

I have never been a history buff, but the history of art and design has always been of interest to me, both for the sake of learning as well turning that newfound knowledge into inspirations for new projects. I will post about the highlights of my historical research: some facts about the founding of historical typefaces that I find especially interesting.

  • Encounters with Typography (Primary Research)

As I have immersed myself in the history and technical aspects of typography, I have begun to notice typefaces more and more. Type is absolutely everywhere. Now, as I drive down the road, I long to take pictures with my eyes so that I may remember and compare all of the different typefaces displayed on the fronts of buildings. As I watch a documentary, I recognize the typeface being used, and it is all I can think about for the entirety of the show. The following posts will display the pictures of my primary research: encounters with type that I have found throughout my apartment and town (Catonsville), the type that flavors my life and the lives of those in my community. This is another extremely important basis for the founding of a new typeface.

  • Inspiration

Continue reading to discover what this secondary and primary research has inspired in the business aspect of my life.