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History of Typography Timeline

History of Typography
Key people and events from 1800 BC through Present Day

1800 BC: The typographical principle, that is the creation of a complete text by reusing identical characters, is first realized in the Phaistos Disc, an enigmatic Minoan print item from Crete, Greece, which dates between 1850 and 1600 BC.

1200 BC: The Phoenicians gain independence from the Egyptians and develop their own alphabet--the first to be composed exclusively of letters.

732 : Charlemagne orders a system of writing called the Caroline miniscule which had the first versions of lowercase letters that were not just small versions of uppercase letters.

1440 : Typography, type-founding, and typeface design begin as closely related crafts in mid-15th century Europe due to the introduction of movable type printing at the junction
of the medieval era and the Renaissance. Handwritten letter forms of the mid-15th century embodied 3000 years of evolved letter design, and were the natural models for letter forms in systematized typography. The scribal letter known as textur or textualis, produced by the strong gothic spirit of blackletter from the hands of German area scribes, served as the model for the first text types.

1455 : Johannes Gutenberg employs the scribe Peter Schoffer to help design and cut the
letterpunches for the first typeface—the D-K type of 202 characters used to print the first books in Europe.

1474 : The rapid spread of movable type printing across Europe produces additional Gothic, half-Gothic and Gothic-to-roman transitional types. Johann Bamler’s Schwab acher, Augsburg appears.

1476 : In 1476 William Caxton prints the first books in England with a so-called Bâtarde type
(an early Schwabacher design), but soon abandons the process.

1490: Claude Garamond from France develops the first true printing typeface not designed to imitate handwriting, but instead draws on rigid geometric principles. Garamond also begins the tradition of naming the typeface after himself.

1500: A printer by the name of Aldus Manutius invents the concept of pocket or portable books. In
addition, he also creates the first Italic typeface (one of the first typeface variations).

1557 : In order to simulate handwriting, Robert Granjon develops the first cursive typeface.

1734: William Caslon issues a typeface (bearing his name) which includes straighter serifs and greater contrast between the major and minor strokes.

1757: The first transitional roman typeface is introduced by John Baskerville. This typeface increased the contrast between thick and thin strokes, had a nearly vertical stress in the counters, as well as very sharp serifs.

1780: Firmin Didot and Giambattista Bodoni of Italy develop the first modern romans. The moderns carry
the transitionals to the extreme: thin strokes can be described as hairlines and they have a fully vertical stress.

1815: Vincent Figgins designs a typeface with square serifs-these later become known as slab serifs.

1816: William Caslon IV produces the first typeface without serifs of any kind, however this sans serif
style is ridiculed at the time.

1920: In addition to creating the Broadway typeface, Frederic Goudy develops several other innovative designs and becomes the world’s first full-time type designer.

1925: Herbert Bayer Is appointed the head of a newly created workshop for print and advertising at the Dessau Bauhau. It is here that he designs universal typefaces which are later adapted into Bauhaus fonts.

1931: ‘The Times’ newspaper commissions Stanley Morison to produce a new easy-to-read typeface for their publication--Times New Roman.

1954: A Swiss artist, Max Miedinger, creates Helvetica, the most popular typeface of our time. He is also the first designer to champion the use of white space as a design element.

1955: Howard Kettler designs Courier for IBM; which becomes the most popular typeface used on typewriters for 30 years.

1964: The first digital typesetter (Digiset) is invented by Rodolf Hell and used to produce the first
digital font, Digital Grotesk.

1985 - Adobe invents PostScript: the system which uses mathematical calculations to describe typefaces versus relying on pixel by pixel definitions of fonts.

1989: Apple and Microsoft reject Adobe’s offer of PostScript and begin a joint project to create their own font technology called Truetype. Although Truetype is not as clean or reliable as PostScript, its creation allowed for an explosion in font design.

1996 : OpenType, a cross-platform font file format, is developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft. Besides being supported by multiple platforms, it also supported expanded character sets and layout features. Also, Matthew Carter designs Verdana and Georgia for Microsoft. Both fonts proved to retain their legibility even at very small sizes on a screen.

2012 © Amy K Hunnel (https://www.amykartanddesign.com) History of Typography Key people and events from 1800 BC through Present Day The typographical principle, that is the creation of a complete text by reusing Charlemagne orders a system of Johannes Gutenberg employs the scribe identical characters, is first realized in writing called the Caroline miniscule Peter Schöffer to help design and cut the the Phaistos Disc, an enigmatic Minoan which had the first versions of letterpunches for the first typeface-the print item from Crete, Greece, which lowercase letters that were not just D-K type of 202 characters used to print dates between 1850 and 1600 BC. small versions of uppercase letters. the first books in Europe. 1800 BC 1200 BC 732 1440 1455 The Phoenicians gain independence Typography, type-founding, and from the Egyptians and develop their typeface design begin as closely own alphabet--the first to be related crafts in mid-15th century The rapid spread of movable type printing across Europe composed exclusively of letters. Europe due to the introduction of produces additional Gothic, movable type printing at the junction half-Gothic and Gothic-to- of the medieval era and the Renais- roman transitional types. sance. Handwritten letterforms of the Johann Bämler's Schwa- mid-15th century embodied 3000 years bacher, Augsburg appears. of evolved letter design, and were the natural models for letterforms in In 1476 William Caxton prints The first transitional roman systematized typography. The scribal the first books in England typeface is introduced by John Baskerville. This typeface letter known as textur or textualis, with a so-called Bâtarde type produced by the strong gothic spirit of (an early Schwabacher increased the contrast blackletter from the hands of German design), but soon abandons between thick and thin strokes, area scribes, served as the model for had a nearly vertical stress in In order to simulate handwriting, the first text types. the process. the counters, as well as very Robert Granjon develops the first sharp serifs. cursive typeface. 1780 1757 1734 1557 1500 1490 Vincent Figgins designs a typeface Firmin Didot and Giambattista William Caslon issues a A printer by the name of Aldus Claude Garamond from France develops the first true with square serifs- typeface (bearing his name) which includes straighter Bodoni of Italy develop the first Manutius invents the concept of printing typeface not designed to imitate handwriting, -these later become modern romans. The moderns carry pocket or portable books. In but instead draws on rigid geometric principles. known as slab serifs. the transitionals to the extreme: serifs and greater contrast addition, he also creates the first Garamond also begins the tradition of naming the thin strokes can be described as between the major and Italic typeface (one of the first typeface after himself. hairlines and they have a fully minor strokes. typeface variations). vertical stress. William Caslon IV produces the first typeface without serifs of any kind, Herbert Bayer is however this sans serif appointed the head style is ridiculed at of a newly created Apple and Microsoft reject the time. workshop for print Adobe's offer of PostScript and advertising at The first digital and begin a joint project to the Dessau Bauhau. typesetter (Digiset) is create their own font It is here that he A Swiss artist, Max Miedinger, creats invented by Rodolf technology called Truetype. designs universal Helvetica, the most popular typeface Hell and used to Although Truetype is not as In addition to creating typefaces which are of our time. He is also the first designer produce the first clean or reliable as PostScript, the Broadway later adapted into to champion the use of white space as digital font, Digital its creation allowed for an typeface, Frederic Bauhaus fonts. a design element. Grotesk. explosion in font design. Goudy develops serveral other 1925 1931 1954 1955 1964 1985 1989 1996 innovative designs and becomes the world's first full-time Adobe invents PostScript: the system OpenType, a cross-platform font file format, is developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft. Besides being supported by multiple platforms, 'The Times' newspaper commissions Howard Kettler designs Courier type designer. Stanley Morison to produce a new for IBM; which becomes the most which uses mathematical calculations easy-to-read typeface for their popular typeface used on to describe typefaces versus relying on it also supported expanded character sets and layout features. Also, publication--Times New Roman. typewriters for 30 years. pixel by pixel definitions of fonts. Matthew Carter designs Verdana and Georgia for Microsoft. Both fonts proved to retain their legibility even at very small sizes on a screen. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Western_typography 2012 © Amy K Hunnel (https://www.amykartanddesign.com) 1474 1476 1815 1816 1920

History of Typography Timeline

shared by ahunnel on Aug 20
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A timeline which details some of the key events in Typography from 1800 B.C. through 1996.

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