More than any other area of the world, Japan and China have refined the practical act of writing into a highly-expressive art form. With their roots in earlier Chinese symbols, Japanese calligraphers have—through a 1300-year history—developed a variety of unique styles of their own. Two main classifications are discussed: “classical” in which form and emotion are closely integrated, and “subjective” in which feeling takes precedence over form.
Edward Wright , J. Collins
Graphic designers traditionally have limited experience with the direct relationship between meaning and form in the language they use. In this experimental project graphic design students were encouraged to gradually refine their own individual handwritten texts from random, personal jottings into a formal graphic mode. Several students’ work is illustrated and commented on.
Typography is considered as a technical phase in the evolution of handwriting. The latter in an intellectual and rational operation and not only a skill that is purely manual or mechanical. That is why ideas about the legibility and intelligibility of text should be extended to include the entire format which supports the written matter, book or document. The technological revolution in progress in the reproduction and multiplication of printed matter provokes a social revolution in the actual production of writing, and calls for a parallel renewal of teaching — at a higher level — of handwriting. Illustrations and commentary.
Production of legible typography on the television screen is affected by technological variables unknown to the printed media. Specific problems of type distortion and decay in television transmission are described. To counteract these problems the Graphic Arts Department of CBS News experimented with various typefaces and developed CBS News 36; research results are illustrated and discussed.
M.V. Mathews , Carol Lochbaum, Judith A. Moss
Detailed descriptions are given for three fonts of letters. Letter shapes are entirely described by numbers. The basic vectors are in a general form so the fonts may be easily drawn on a variety of computers and cathode ray tubes. The fonts include both upper- and lower-case Roman letters, mathematical signs, and upper- and lower-case Greek letters. Digital type design is described. However, the principal contribution is the fonts themselves.
The origins of the Concrete movement in poetry are briefly traced, with early manifestoes included as appendices. Three perceptual approaches, classified as optic, kinetic, and phonetic, are distinguished by means of twenty-one illustrations. The emphasis falls on the development of a new fixed form consonant with our age.
The place of the IBM Selectric Composer in the evolution of bookmaking processes is outlined: it provides a return to directness and simplicity, combined with the speed of mechanization. Some restrictions and problems which the new machine poses for the type designer are described. The article was originally presented as a lecture at Gallery 303 in New York City. It has been composed on the IBM Selectric Composer in the Univers face which the author adapted to the machine.
M. Hailstone , Jeremy J. Foster
Two experiments on the effectiveness of drug-labeling are reported. The first compared typewritten with hand-written labels, and the second compared printed drug-labels varying in type size, form of type and layout (centered or ranged left). A discrimination-test procedure was employed, the subjects having to select specified labels from a display. The results of the experiments showed 1) that typewritten labels were discriminated more readily than handwritten ones, 2) that labels printed with 10-point type were discriminated more speedily than labels printed with 6-point type, 3) that for labels printed with 6-point type, upper-case letterform was more easily discriminated than lower-case letterform, 4) the layout of the label design had no effect on discrimination.
The history of the development (1822-1925) of the mechanical control of printers’ type is outlined in this chronological list of type-setting machines. Early emphasis is on the single-type devices which manipulated individual pieces of type; gradually matrix machines were perfected. Also included are machines used to supplement the typesetting process: typecasters, direct printers, transfer or impression devices, and material makers.
James Smith Pierce
Paul Klee (1879-1940), the Swiss artist who taught at the German Bauhaus, used ancient and modern pictographs and alphabets in many of his painting and drawings. The discrete characters of the various systems of writing were well adapted to Klee’s unusual additive technique by which he retained the expressive purity of the formal elements. In the 1910’s and 1920’s, Klee used roman letters to construct abstract formal patterns, but in the 1930’s he reanimated the conventional symbols of the alphabet, turning them into active representational figures suggestive of their pictographic origins. His most revolutionary achievement was the invention of bold ideograms, combining different pictographic schemata in a set of double images which enrich a basic idea through chains of associated ideas, thus altering the notion of a picture as representing a scene fixed in time and space.
In the context of this article the secondary uses of letters are those that involve not the mere recording of preexistent speech forms, but full participation, as independent ingredients, in a given language. Five such autonomous uses have been set off: 1) the conventional arrangement of letters in standard alphabetic order and the special functions of chosen segments of that sequence; 2) all manner of abbreviations (truncation, literation, acronyms); 3) diverse implications of the shapes of the letters; 4) references—difficult to detect—to the acoustic shapes of the letters; 5) hints of the conventional labels given to letters in spelling-out aloud. Special attention has been given to the occasional interplay of these uses, whose frequency seems to advance by leaps and bounds in such societies and cultures as place a premium on “modernity.”
This paper is a report on an investigation into the feasibility of using a computer equipped with a CRT display for layout and design work. This investigation was mainly concerned with ascertaining whether a CRT system could create images of sufficient typographic standard, while allowing the size of face to be such that a realistic layout of a page could be represented at any one time. The work was essentially exploratory in nature, but enough was done to enable some conclusions to be drawn.
G. Thomas Tanselle
The relationships between typographic research and bibliography can be surveyed by looking at four principal categories of material: 1) histories of typefounding and of type designs—such as Rollo Silver’s Typefounding in America, 1787-1825 (1965) and Carter and Vervliet’s Civilité Types (1966); 2) histories of printing and of publishing—such as D. F. McKenzie’s The Cambridge University Press 1696-1712 (1966); 3) descriptive bibliographies—also represented by McKenzie’s work; and 4) works of bibliographical analysis—such as Robert Turner’s articles on the bibliographical uses of type-damage evidence. These few recent examples of the uses of typographic research in bibliography can serve to illustrate the ultimate interdependence of all studies of printed letter-forms.
Warren H. Wheelock , Nicholas J. Silvaroli
The act of learning to read is an associative-conceptual process. The formation of correct associations between the spoken symbol and the written symbol depends on the child’s ability to make auditory and visual discriminations. This study concerned itself solely with the one factor of visual discrimination. It attempted to determine if those kindergarten students who are trained to make instant responses of recognition to the capital letters of the alphabet show significant difference in their visual discrimination ability from those kindergarten students who did not receive this training. In analyzing the data, analysis of co-variance was used. Results showed there was significant difference (.01 level of confidence) in visual discrimination ability between students taught to make instant responses of recognition to the capital letters of the alphabet and those who did not receive this training. It might be assumed that learning to make these responses enhances visual discrimination ability.
OCR-B is a typefont especially developed as an international standard for optical recognition by electronic computers. It includes figures, upper- and lower-case letters, and certain related symbols. The background leading up to the development of OCR-B is discussed. Basically the problem was two-fold—to design a typefont 1) that could be automatically read by machines, and 2) that would be aesthetically accepted by the human eye. The design of OCR-B is examined in light of these requirements, and examples are shown.
To what extent do differences in the spacing and width of characters effect the readability of typewritten materials? Reading speed and comprehension scores were compared in two studies; an original experiment and a subsequent replication. Test material consisted of several passages taken from the Davis Reading Test and typed in two versions—one set with proportional spacing (IBM Modern) and the other with standard spacing (IBM Prestige Elite). Results showed a significant difference in reading speed in favor of proportional spacing, without loss in comprehension. There was also evidence of an interaction between passage-difficulty and character spacing, which suggests that reading speed measures may underestimate real differences in readability if comparisons are based solely on simple or familiar material.
Randall Harrison , Clyde D. J. Morris
The term “typographic research” may be taken in three related but quite different senses: 1) as in testing scientific hypotheses, 2) as in artistic exploration, and 3) as in critical, historical or analytic examination. Working primarily within the framework of scientific research, the authors attempt to sketch typographic research within the broader picture of scientific theory building. They recast a few familiar aspects of typographic decision-making into the framework of communication theory. The primary goal of the article is to suggest what might be useful for a theory of typographic communication, including research needs and criteria for arranging a hierarchy of research goals.
This article examines the sign function of letters beyond phonetic representation as signifiers of musical, symbolic, mathematical, organizational and other references.
Ralph Fabrizio , Ira Kaplan, Gilbert Teal