Image

VCD Theory Typography

Typographic survey.

Have typographic styles really changed?

tasks

Questions to deepen your understanding type in use

These questions are to be used to deepen your understanding of the use type and the combining of type and image.

Answer these questions in paragraph form referring to the images below:

  1. Describe one example of typography in one of the images, using type terms of our study.
  2. Discuss how one example of typography uses typeface and type adjustments to express ideas and or concepts.
  3. Identify connections between type and image in one example. Refer to design elements and principles and or methods and media in your answer.
  4. Discuss how type and image have been combined to express ideas and or concepts in one example. Refers to aesthetic characteristics of both type and image in your answer.
  5. Identify and describe connections between past and modern typography in two examples. Use type terms to explain how typography and typesetting techniques have changed during the century.

Quick menu

Image

1900 - 1920

What we see

1914 - 18 was the Great War (WW1). We see a sense of patriotism and teaching children that they should grow up to fight for their country. This will be men's role and women will support them. That strength of purpose is emphasised in strong, sharp type forms of the day.

We also see flowing visual devices that thread typography together with the images they support. These devices create movement and depth in the designs. They are really the foundation for the nineteen fifties decorative style to come decades later.

Typographically we see;

  • Lots of capitals,
  • serif fonts,
  • some low X Heights,
  • outlined type,
  • large and small caps,
  • hand formed type,
  • plenty of gold embossing.

Images from this period

Image
Image 1.
Image
Image 2.
Image
Image 3.
Image
Image 4.
Image
Image 5.
Image
Image 6.
Image
Image 7.
Image
Image 8.
Image
Image 9.
Image
Image 10.
Image
Image 11.
Image
Image 12.
Image
Image 13.
Image
Image 14.
Image
Image 15.
Image
Image 16.
Image
Image 17.
Image
Image 18.
Image

1930 - 1940

What we see

This era began with the Great Depression, lead through the resulting growth and prosperity and into the Second World War (WW11). It remains a time where children were taught that they were to accept traditional gender roles. Look closely at what activities boys and girls are engaged in in the images. The sense of strength and patriotism continued in the type and image combinations. 

Typographically we see;

  • An emergence of sans-serif type forms,
  • hand formed type,
  • taller X Heights,
  • some type manipulation,
  • three dimensional type,
  • flowing script,
  • reversed out type,
  • two colour printing.

Images from this period

Image
Image 1.
Image
Image 2.
Image
Image 3.
Image
Image 4.
Image
Image 5.
Image
Image 6.
Image
Image 7.
Image
Image 8.
Image
Image 9.
Image
Image 10.
Image
Image 11.
Image
Image 12.
Image

1950 - 1960

What we see

This period includes the reconstruction after the War and the emergence of the 'teenager' in the growing children post war. Although gender roles were still traditional in the fifties we begin to see more independence in the portrayal of genders there is more energy in how girls are shown. 

Design in the fifties was decorative. We see a loosening up of the pictorial space. More combinations of different kinds of type forms and flowing hand formed type create a more energetic effect.

Typographically we see;

  • A massive growth in the scale of headlines next to sub headlines,
  • Combinations of type forms,
  • serif and sans-serif type,
  • larger X heights,
  • decorative scripts,
  • centred type,
  • a tightening of tracking,
  • heavily outlined type,
  • brush script.

Images from this period

Image
Image 1.
Image
Image 2.
Image
Image 3.
Image
Image 4.
Image
Image 5.
Image
Image 6.
Image
Image 7.
Image
Image 8.
Image
Image 9.
Image
Image 10.
 
 
Image

1960 - 1970

What we see

During this period memories of 'going without' during the war were all but faded. The new younger generation were independent and beginning reject the traditional gender roles that had been assigned to the parents and older siblings. Girls began to similar opportunities as boys and were seen in active pursuits. 

There was a tightening of the pictorial space in books. After the creation of Helvetica (1957) type emerged as a dominant design element, not only to decorate but to be the visual content itself. The decade began with a continuation of decorative scripts but ended with strong type compositions pushed together tightly like brand marks.

Typographically we see;

  • A tightening of leading and tracking,
  • a dominance of sans-serif typefaces,
  • contemporary X heights,
  • stronger figure ground relationships,
  • tightly tracked capitals.

Images from this period

Image
Image 1.
Image
Image 2.
Image
Image 3.
Image
Image 4.
Image
Image 5.
Image
Image 6.
Image
Image 7.
Image
Image 8.
Image
Image 9.
Image
Image 10.
Image
Image 11.
Image
Image 12.
Image

1970 - 1980

What we see

The seventies is when fun became a serious business! The teenagers from the sixties grew up and a new, new generation took over. Traditional gender roles were (almost) rejected and boys and girls were depicted in similar activities. Celebrities were the order of the day as popular music became more accessible to young people. 

Design in this period was influenced by the strong international typographic style, powered by the typeface Helvetica. Although created much earlier Microgramma Bold Extended (1952) capitals only,  became popular in the seventies as a stylistic successor to Helvetica. It's lower case cousin Eurostyle can also be seen on this page. Gradually the minimal type styles of the sixties gave way to a resurgence of strong decorative type styles of the late seventies. Type forms including stencils, borrowed from the Military, crude digital magnetic type forms, balloon fonts and fonts made from line alone became popular. If you look carefully you will also see an early deconstructed font looking like benday dots of a print image.

In the seventies the pictorial space tightened even more. The scale of components were enlarged and hierarchy was emphaised. It was the beginning of a busy, competitive, consumerist life style and this was reflected in the communications messages of the day.

Typographically we see;

  • Heavy geometric fonts,
  • mixtures of cases,
  • decorative fonts derived from external influences,
  • emphasis on hierarchy and scale,
  • even more tightening in tracking and leading.

Images from this period

Image
Image 1.
Image
Image 2.
Image
Image 3.
Image
Image 4.
Image
Image 5.
Image
Image 6.
Image
Image 7.
Image
Image 8.
Image
Image 9.
Image
Image 10.
Image
Image 11.
Image
Image 12.
Image
Image 13.
Image
Image 14.
Image
Image 15.
Image
Image 16.
Image
Image 17.
Image
Image 18.
Image
Image 19.
Image
Image 20.
Image
Image 21.
Image
Image 22.
Image
Image 23.
Image
Image 24.
Image
Image 25.
Image
Image 26.
Image
Image 27.