Typography needs to be audible. Typography needs to be felt. Typography needs to be experiences.
Just as there is nothing more boring than boredom, nothing more exciting than excitement, nothing more lovable than love or hateful than hatred, so there is nothing that arouses interest so much as interest. Interesting people are interested people, and an enthusiasm — be it as thankless as birdwatching or as bizarre as philately — marks out the enthusiast as a source of curious learning and a person with a mind that glows.
I think it is generally agreed that picture writing was the beginning of our lettering. You might wish to communicate something to someone at a distance. If you have no letters or none common both to you & your correspondent, what else can you do but draw a picture? — the language of pictures is common to all. After a time your pictures are used to signify words and not simply things, and as the system develops and communications become more precise, the pictures become simpler and simpler, more & more conventional, and they come to signify single sounds rather than whole words. And the pictures, by now, have ceased to be pictures. They are, by now, hardly recognizable as representations of things: they are conventional signs, & their pictorial origin is forgotten.
In the workshop an astrarium is kept in continual motion: a thing marvellous to behold; and other instruments are being made for observing the heavens, as well as appliances for everyday use, whose names it would be tedious to recite. Last of all it has been decided to practise the wonderful art of making printing type for lasting records, and may God prosper it! Once that is mastered, though the workman die soon after, death will have no bitterness for him, knowing as he will that he has left to posterity a gift to save them for ever after from want of books (from Carter’s ”A View of Early Typography”, pp. 40—41).
Hermann Zapf designed his most famous typeface, Palatino, more than half a century ago. The drawings were completed in 1948, and by 1950 it was in use both as hand-set type and as a hot-metal typeface set on Linotype machines. In the early 1950s Zapf extended the Palatino family to include Aldus, a version designed specifically for text setting, and a pair of display variants (Michelangelo and Sistina), as well as narrow and swash italics.
–John D. Berry
I do love the vision you have for ‘written word empowering.’ This is ethical science at its best.
Although usually attributed to Jaugeon, the contribution of a ”technician” like Truchet was without doubt decisive. Indeed, all the manuscripts that have been preserved were all signed by Truchet. Their design is attributable to André Jammes and James Mosley. While Simoneau’s printing plates have been reproduced many times, his hand-written notes are little known. Yet these are the equivalent of today’s AFMs (Metrics Font) or hinting instructions.
A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought, and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.
–Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
I dip my pen in the blackest ink, because I’m not afraid of falling into my inkpot.
The only complete reading is that which transforms the book into a simultaneous network of reciprocal relations.