What is type?

Typography is part of our lives. We see it every day from the moment we wake up to the end of the day. It reminds me a bit of the movie "Star Wars" when they speak of "the force" - sourrounds us, penetrates our lives and binds our world together. That is how I feel about typography and how important it is to me when designing. Typography can communicate meaningful and impactful messages as well as emotional expressions. It is pretty much everywhere...on the television, web, magazines, newspapers, signage, mail, packaging, books and posters just to name a few.

This website is targeted to the novice student or designer who wants to understand typography and get a quick overview on important typography fundamentals.

Most dictionaries have a outdated definition for typography. For Instance, the English Oxford Dictionary defines typography as the following:

Typography /tʌɪ'pɒgrəfi/ •n. The art or process of setting and arranging types and printing from them. The style and appearance of printed matter.

I found a better updated definition online from author Phil Baines in his book Type & Typography.

Typography /tʌɪ'pɒgrəfi/ •n. The mechanical notation and arrangement of language.

This definition includes online media as part of typography. A lot of print designers have found that the online medium is currently applying bad use of typography. So as a web designer, studying the correct way to communicate with the use of type has become a priority in my designs. With that said, let's start the typography journey.

Typeface or font? People are often unsure of the difference between typeface and font, as they are both commonly misused terms for the same thing. In reality a typeface is a family of fonts (such as Helvetica), but a font is one weight or style within a family (Regular).

Font Design Video

"Font Design" is a short video about typography and font design featuring interviews with Steven Heller, Jonathan Hoefler, and Tobias Frere-Jones.