A little history first. I use a lot of type in my paintigs. I belive this is a direct way of playing with imagery and words and clearly relates back to my graphic design origins. In the next few posts, I am going to spend some time looking at typography in my past and present work. First, we need a basic primer on terms, so we can have a mutual dialog. This, along with a little history on the most important type movement/change of the 20th century should be enough to examine my work in future posts.

The Basics

Serif typefaces are characterized by small lines or strokes that are attached to the ends of the letters and symbols in a font. These strokes are called "serifs." Some common serif typefaces include Times New Roman, Georgia, and Garamond.

Sans-serif typefaces, on the other hand, do not have these small lines attached to the ends of the letters and symbols. Some common sans-serif typefaces include Arial, Verdana, and Helvetica.

The main difference between serif and sans-serif typefaces is that serif fonts are more traditional and formal, while sans-serif fonts are more modern and casual. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and there are many exceptions. Serif fonts are generally thought to be easier to read in print, while sans-serif fonts are thought to be easier to read on screens. Ultimately, the choice of serif or sans-serif font depends on the specific design context and aesthetic goals.

Slab Typeface

A slab typeface is a type of font that features heavy, block-like serifs. Slab serif fonts are often used for headlines and other display purposes, as the thick serifs make the letters more visually prominent and attention-grabbing. They are also sometimes referred to as "Egyptian" typefaces, due to their use in 19th century posters and advertisements. Some examples of popular slab serif fonts include Rockwell, Courier, and Clarendon.

The Swiss

Swiss typography, also known as the International Typographic Style, is a design movement that originated in Switzerland in the 1950s. It is characterized by a clean, modern design aesthetic and a focus on functionality and readability. This movement has had a significant impact on the world of graphic design, and its principles are still widely used today.

The origins of Swiss typography can be traced back to the 1920s, when a group of young graphic designers in Switzerland began to experiment with new techniques and approaches to design. These designers were influenced by the Bauhaus movement, which had emerged in Germany in the early 20th century and emphasized the importance of functionality and simplicity in design. One of the key figures in the development of Swiss typography was Emil Ruder, a graphic designer and typographer who is often referred to as the "father of Swiss design." Ruder was a strong advocate for the use of sans-serif typefaces, which he believed were more legible and easier to read than serif typefaces. He also emphasized the importance of grid-based design, which helped to create a sense of order and structure in design layouts.

The principles of Swiss typography were first codified in the 1950s in a book called "Typographie" by Emil Ruder. This book became a bible for graphic designers and helped to spread the ideas of Swiss typography around the world. One of the key features of Swiss typography is its emphasis on simplicity and minimalism. Swiss designers believed that the purpose of design was to communicate information clearly and effectively, and they sought to eliminate unnecessary elements from their designs in order to focus on the essentials. This approach is reflected in the use of clean, uncluttered layout, sans-serif typefaces, and the sparing use of color. Another key principle of Swiss typography is the use of grid-based design. This approach involves dividing the design layout into a series of columns and rows, with text and images aligned to the grid. This creates a sense of order and structure in the design, and helps to ensure that the layout is balanced and harmonious.

Swiss typography is also known for its use of typographic hierarchy, which involves the use of different typefaces and sizes to create a visual hierarchy of information. This helps to guide the reader's eye through the design and make it easier to understand the information being presented. The impact of Swiss typography can be seen in many areas of graphic design, including advertising, packaging, and corporate identity. Its clean, modern aesthetic has made it particularly popular in the digital age, and it is still widely used today.

Swiss typography is a design movement that has had a significant impact on the world of graphic design. Its focus on simplicity, functionality, and readability has helped to make it a enduring and influential style that continues to be widely used today.

Okay. Next post we will look at some work.