FIELD-NOTES-005

Finding your type

Letters are more than just a way of assembling words. Like humans, letters possess an anatomy with different parts—quite literally—like arms and legs. Varying the form of these parts gives a letter unique personality. Now apply the same anatomical style across different alphabets, numbers and symbols, and you have a typographic family—known as a typeface—that can help imbue all sorts of text with the desired mood. Below, we chart the anatomy of a typeface, identifying the different parts of letters which can be shaped to change their character.
ANATOMY
TYPESTYLES
If a typeface is a large family of letters, then a typestyle is the way they all stand, sit, squat or slouch together. Typestyles can be used to differentiate a particular bit of text, or to achieve a visual intent. While some typestyles are commonly encountered such as italicisation and bold font, this list includes other variations, useful for adding a bit of pizzazz in the right situation.
TYPE CLASSIFICATION
The transition of text through history, from handwritten matter to the mechanical printing press and now digital fonts, has expanded the range of typefaces dramatically, with new ones constantly being designed. While for the most part, typefaces tend to fall under the categories of serif or sans serif, the rich history and constant evolution of type has resulted in a complex taxonomy. Within this taxonomy, the various systems and categories can describe the technology, lineage and even design intent of a typeface. To help start your dive into typographic history, here we highlight some of the more common classifications of type used today.
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REF. NO.
FIELD-NOTES-005-FINDING-YOUR-TYPE
CONTRIBUTOR(S)
REBEKAH LEE, GOH SI JIE, OH WEN XIN
PUBLISHED
28.09.18