Working as a designer in 2020 is cool. You get trillions of typefaces with more to come the very next week. Isn’t that true? It is because digitalization has made things easier than ever. Now creating different fonts, distributing them across the world, and using them into designs is a matter of few clicks. But it wasn’t like that since always. A lot of struggles are hidden inside the history of type technology, and they too have lessons to learn for the amateur designers.
To help you go through that history with ease and pick out your lessons effectively, I’ve put together this amazing blog post featuring all the highlights from the history of type technology.
Dive in to burst your curiosity folks.
Pre−Digitalization. The Great Grand History of Type Technology
Yes, typefaces existed before digitalization and that too in different variations. Let’s take a look at them.
Calligraphy and Handwriting In 3200 BC.
Calligraphy is a form of tuned manuscript illustrations, that gave birth to a lot of writing styles, was emerged back in ancient Mesopotamia. The prominent features of calligraphy included unicals and half unicals with elaborated letters having rounded corners. It used to be handwritten over a material that looked like parchment during the 3200 BC.
Woodblock Printing In 220 AD.
The history of type technology evolved from handwritten calligraphies into woodblock printing during the 220 A.D. This technology was initiated back in the Asian realms and involved crafting woodblocks of each text section, dipping those blocks into ink, and then pressing them against papers to print.
Moveable Letter blocks in 1040 AD.
Moving ahead with the history of type technology, we come across these moveable letter blocks that were introduced back in 1040 AD. These were an evolution of woodblocks where each different letter was molded using metal and assembled over aboard. Each time a text was to be printed, the letters were moved accordingly, dipped into the ink, and pressed against paper to get the final results. Sounds intellectual, huh? This technology was the ideation of Johannes Gutenberg, a famous European who is known to bridge the type technology with the modern world.
These metal blocks were further evolved into wooden letter blocks to be used for larger fonts during the early 18th century.
Continuous Casting In the 1890s.
The history of type technology moved forward to these line−o−type machines in the 1890s. These continuous casting machines were capable of composing complete lines at a time with their 90-character keyboard which replaced the manually moving technology. The lines used to be cast in the form of molten metal which could easily be melted for the reuse, so the process was quick and continuous in comparison to the earlier technologies.
This technology turned out magnificent for newspaper printing as the previously used letter blocks used to take a lot of time and no newspaper could be printed off more than 8 pages.
Phototypesetting In the 1950s.
As we entered the 19th century, things started innovating rapidly and so does the history of type technology suggest. It took a massively innovative turn and phototypesetting technology got introduced during the mid-nineteenth century. This machine works by project light through the cuts of each character over onto a film which is then treated via chemicals to mark the characters permanently. Also, it has an advantage of scalability for the magnifiers can both increase and decrease the size of type fonts without the need to change entire font cuts for each different size required.
Although it was a great evolution in the history of type technology and was expected to last for a longer period, it lost the status soon after digitalization took the charge.
Post−Digitalization. The Real Evolution of Type Technology.
Soon after the world got influenced by digitalization, type technology begins to evolve in real means and the evolution has been fast continuous since then.
Bitmaps are a kind of data file that contains glyphs in the form of pixels. And because they aren’t adjustable or scalable, they must be comprised of different sizes ranging from 8 pts to 72 pts, each in bold, regular, and italics.
Outline Vector Fonts.
These are a set of mathematically assembled curves and lines capable of tracing glyphs. Also, they are scalable and do not come in pixels. They are the latest evolution of type technology and have made typing the easiest thing to do. It is because of this technology; we’ve got trillions of typefaces which can be easily installed and used in making superb custom logo design.
Which of these type technologies you like the most? Share your opinions in the comments section.