Typography by Ambrose/Harris

After my experience with the typography workshop on week 8, I’ve decided to head to library to look into this topic even more. I’ve picked up a book called Basic Design 03: Typography written by Gavin Ambrose and Paul Harris. As I’ve read and study the book, this is what I’ve leant.


There is no escaping from type. Type is massively important that it’s found practically everywhere you could possibly imagine. The list of visual examples you can see below, type can be found and use from signs, to menus, walls to streets, books to posers and choosing a typeface is as important then the reason of product itself. What makes it important is that, it visually gives an impression of a product or outcome. There is many typeface to chose from that choosing the right one matters. Typefaces can come in varieties and possess a distinctive personalty that some come can portray as formal and have authority whilst other can be seen as relaxed and appear less structured. Typeface is powerful that just looking at any Typefaces can make a person feel the way they do.


‘We should welcome typographic variety as the natural consequence of human creativity.’ – Sebastian Carter.

When looking at type, Typography is such massive subject that it has a wealth of specialised terminology that designers and printers uses them when examining or describing the typefaces with their associated characteristics. These terms have a unique meanings however some have altered by common usage that this can result in confusion. I’ll give an example of what I mean, many people have incorrectly refer to ‘obliques’ as ‘italics’ simply because they are both slanted.

Many terms have actually originated from hot metal printing industry such as ‘Leading’. When Information technology became a thing in recent years that the industry was the stronghold of typography. Similarly like a number of these terms dates back even further and find their origins in stonemasonry, this including the names given to individual parts of a single characters.

Typeface and Font (or Fount) can synonymous usage. There is no harm on using these words interchangeable because substitution is virtually universal. Designers would be hard pressed to state each word’s correct definition if asked. However these terms have a separate meaning that it’s quite distinct.

To think of it like this, a Typeface is the ‘design’ of the design of the alphabet, the shape of the letters that make up the typestyle. Whereas the Font is the digital file that contains or describes the typefaces. The Font is like a piece of software that tells the computer and printer how to display an print the typeface.









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