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The Art of Typography

Behind the Font

All fonts have a personality and a purpose. Times New Roman is a serious, formal font – you wouldn’t use it for your five-year-old’s bouncy castle birthday party invites.  On the other hand, Comic Sans is a childish informal font that would look incongruous on a Dr's diagnosis letter or on the tax-man’s letter demanding that you pay your dues.

The History of Typography

In itself typography is a fascinating subject and has lots of pivotal moments in the development of letter form from the days of Baskerville back in the 18th century – not the owner of the hound but the designer of one of the most famous and beautiful type faces in the world. His design was criticised by jealous competitors and when he died in 1775 and the original moulds were thrown into the River Thames. Luckily, his design survived. Benjamin Franklin - one of the typeface's greatest admirers - took it to America and it went on to become one of the most used typefaces in the world.

In the early 20th century, the Nazi regime selected Gothic as the nation’s typeface. The Third Reich's Interior Ministry planned to have all typewriters replaced with Gothic and all official printed matter was reset in its letters.

However, in 1941, Hitler commanded Gothic type to be abandoned. He felt that the typeface Fraktur would be easier for foreigners to read, ensuring that news of his military victories spread far and wide.

More than Just Ink on Paper

Typography is more than just ink on paper - it's an art rich in a history carved out by  typesetters, compositors, typographers and graphic designers.

Take a look at our Typography Pinterest board to see some beautiful examples of typography we love.