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The Typography Portal

Letter of the ſ-i ligature, size 12pt Garamond.

Typography is the art and techniques of arranging type, type design, and modifying type glyphs. Type glyphs are created and modified using a variety of illustration techniques. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading (line spacing) and letter spacing.

Typography is performed by typesetters, compositors, typographers, graphic artists, art directors, and clerical workers. Until the Digital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of visual designers and lay users.

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Double sentence-spaced typewriter text (1946) vs. single sentence-spaced typeset text (1979)

Sentence spacing is the horizontal space between sentences in typeset text. It is a matter of typographical convention. Since the introduction of movable type printing in Europe, various sentence spacing conventions have been used in languages with a Latin-derived alphabet. These include a normal word space (as between the words in a sentence), a single enlarged space, two full spaces, and, most recently in digital media, no space. Although modern digital fonts can automatically adjust a single word space to create visually pleasing and consistent spacing following terminal punctuation, a debate still exists about whether to strike a keyboard's spacebar once or twice between sentences.


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Claude Garamond (c.14801561) was a Parisian publisher. He was one of the leading type designers of his time, and several contemporary typefaces, including those named Garamond, Granjon, and Sabon show his influence.

Garamond came to prominence in 1541, when three of his Greek typefaces were requested for a royally ordered book series by Robert Estienne. Garamond based them on the handwritings of Angelo Vergecio, the King's Librarian at Fontainebleau, and his ten-year-old pupil, Henri Estienne. According to Arthur Tilley, the editions are "among the most finished specimens of typography that exist." Garamond's Roman were created shortly thereafter, and his influence rapidly spread throughout and beyond France during the 1540s.

Garamond's name was originally spelled with a 't' at the end, but under the influence of standardized French spelling, the 'd' became customary and stuck.

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Metal movable type.jpg
Composing stick and metal types within a type case.

Did you know …

… that the ampersand symbol originated from a Roman ligature of the letters E and t ?

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