Typography Basics for Documents and Web Sites

As we move forward with adding web-based communication methods to traditional print-based ones, it becomes clear that modifications to existing standards for print are needed. This is particularly true of typography since conditions for the web are quite different than for print.

Typography today is the result of Johann Gutenberg’s use of movable type in the mid- 1400s. He was the first European to use individual letters, numbers, and spaces to assemble into words, sentences, and pages that could be disassembled and used again. Movable type, combined with Gutenberg’s invention of oil-based ink and modification of agricultural presses for printing, became the basis for printing for centuries.

The process of manufacturing movable type in metal was continually improved and eventually fostered a true art form – the creation of alphabets, numerals, and characters in a single size, weight, and style (called a font) with distinctive characteristics, artistically rendered and mathematically balanced. Movable type progressed from crafting fonts individually to cutting matrices and casting the fonts with hot metal to compositing machines with molten lead vats that created whole lines of type on-the-fly (hot type). Eventually typecasting yielded to computerization – first as phototypesetting and later as desktop publishing.

For more…
http://www.macgra.com/1107Printips.pdf 

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