I’m not sure if this post is for the comic book nerds or the typography nerds (or those of use who meet in the middle of that particular venn diagram). The video below looks at the evolution of fonts used in comic books. For decades, those fonts were driven by the form’s physical limitations. Cheap paper and blotchy ink required adaptation in order to fit more dialogue into less space while still remaining readable.

Today, lettering has moved into the digital realm, which has opened up new possibilities for subtle storytelling through typography.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He serves on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


4 Thoughts on "The Comic Book Font, and How Digital Technologies are Changing Lettering"

Entertaining and enlightening. Thanks for sharing. Might someone explain the difference between “font” and “typeface’ to the world?

I like the explanation here, summarized below:

Even type experts agree: Typeface and font can be used interchangeably at this point. But if you come across an annoying pedant who cares deeply about maintaining the distinction for the masses, just remember this: The difference between a font and a typeface is the same as that between songs and an album. The former makes up the latter. Remember that and you’re good to go.

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