Authority, Books, Historical, Reading, Tools

The Basics and History of Typography

The announcement of Yahoo!’s new logo recently set off a firestorm of criticism. The best pieces discussing the logo went far beyond the logo itself, and delved more into the value and the process of design and typography.

WIth the advent of desktop publishing back in the 1980’s, typography went from an arcane skillset known only to designers and printers to something we should all understand as we try to master the powerful tools that computers provide us for layout and design. But something was lost in the translation, and for most, typography remains as much a mystery as ever.

If you want your documents and publications to shine, to truly express your meaning, to be easily readable and to stand out from the crowd, a little typographic knowledge goes a long way. Butterick’s Practical Typography is a great resource, offering a ten minute course that can greatly improve your skills (and much more if you’re willing to dig deeper).

To accompany that, here’s a charming short film that puts things into historical perspective and gives a quick primer on some useful vocabulary.

About David Crotty

I am a Senior Editor with Oxford University Press' journal publishing program. Prior to that I served as an Executive Editor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, and was also the commissioning editor for their book publishing program. Many years ago, I was a research scientist, receiving my Ph.D. in Genetics & Development from Columbia University, and doing postdoctoral research in neural development at Caltech.


2 thoughts on “The Basics and History of Typography

  1. Loved the links to the video and to Butterick’s. Thanks.

    Posted by economicscourageous | Sep 16, 2013, 10:50 am


  1. Pingback: Weekend Reading: Mr. Autumn Man Edition - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education - Sep 27, 2013

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The mission of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is "[t]o advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking." SSP established The Scholarly Kitchen blog in February 2008 to keep SSP members and interested parties aware of new developments in publishing.
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