Skip to main content
Select Source:

typography

typography (tīpŏg´rəfē), the art of printing from movable type. The term typographer is today virtually synonymous with a master printer skilled in the techniques of type and paper stock selection, ornamentation, and composition. Before the development of typography, related arts flourished for centuries. Scribes in ancient Egypt and the Middle East perfected the craft of writing on papyrus scrolls and clay tablets. Hellenistic and Roman makers of books developed the art, which reached a peak of aesthetic perfection in the exquisite illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages (see illumination, in art). The first European typographers imitated these manuscripts, but the introduction of metal types in the 15th cent. brought about a radical transformation. Crisp and uncompromising, metal types imposed new standards of composition. A highly conservative art, modern typography adheres closely to tradition. Since legibility is of the utmost importance, the forms that print most legibly are retained. Now created on computers, new typographic styles (type faces) continue to develop, to suit myriad uses in the design of advertisements, posters, newspapers, greeting cards, almanacs, and fine books. For a list of notable type designers, see type.

See E. Gill, An Essay on Typography (1931, reprint 1988); J. R. Biggs, Basic Typography (1969); W. Chappell, A Short History of the Printed Word (1980); P. Baines and A. Haslam, Type and Typography (2002); J. Felici, The Complete Manual of Typography (2002); S. Fussel, ed., Bodoni: Manual of Typography (new ed. 2010). See also bibliography under type.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"typography." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"typography." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/typography

"typography." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/typography

typography

ty·pog·ra·phy / tīˈpägrəfē/ • n. the art or process of setting and arranging types and printing from them. ∎  the style and appearance of printed matter. DERIVATIVES: ty·pog·ra·pher / -fər/ n. ty·po·graph·ic / ˌtīpəˈgrafik/ adj. ty·po·graph·i·cal / ˌtīpəˈgrafikəl/ adj. ty·po·graph·i·cal·ly / ˌtīpəˈgrafik(ə)lē/ adv.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"typography." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"typography." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/typography-0

"typography." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/typography-0

typography

typography Practice of designing typefaces and type styles mainly for use in printed texts. Typography is widely used in experimental, progressive art and design, as well as conventional publishing. Movements that have revolutionized typography include futurism, Dadaism, and surrealism. Individuals include Eric Gill and Moholy-Nagy. The term also refers to the art of fine printing itself. See also Dada; typesetting

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"typography." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"typography." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/typography

"typography." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/typography

typography

typographydaffy, taffy •Amalfi •Cavafy, Gaddafi •Effie •beefy, Fifi, leafy •cliffy, iffy, jiffy, Liffey, niffy, sniffy, spiffy, squiffy, stiffy, whiffy •salsify •coffee, toffee •wharfie •Sophie, strophe, trophy •Dufy, goofy, Sufi •fluffy, huffy, puffy, roughie, roughy, scruffy, snuffy, stuffy, toughie •comfy • atrophy •anastrophe, catastrophe •calligraphy, epigraphy, tachygraphy •dystrophy, epistrophe •autobiography, bibliography, biography, cardiography, cartography, chirography, choreography, chromatography, cinematography, cosmography, cryptography, demography, discography, filmography, geography, hagiography, historiography, hydrography, iconography, lexicography, lithography, oceanography, orthography, palaeography (US paleography), photography, pornography, radiography, reprography, stenography, topography, typography •apostrophe •gymnosophy, philosophy, theosophy •furphy, murphy, scurfy, surfy, turfy

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"typography." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"typography." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/typography

"typography." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/typography