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A specimen sheet of the Trajan typeface, which is based on the letter forms of capitalis monumentalis or Roman square capitals used for the inscription at the base of Trajan's Column, from which the typeface takes its name

Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, line-spacing (leading), and letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space between pairs of letters (kerning). The term typography is also applied to the style, arrangement, and appearance of the letters, numbers, and symbols created by the process. Type design is a closely related craft, sometimes considered part of typography; most typographers do not design typefaces, and some type designers do not consider themselves typographers. Typography also may be used as a decorative device, unrelated to communication of information.

Typography is the work of typesetters (also known as compositors), typographers, graphic designers, art directors, manga artists, comic book artists, graffiti artists, and, now, anyone who arranges words, letters, numbers, and symbols for publication, display, or distribution, from clerical workers and newsletter writers to anyone self-publishing materials. Until the Digital Age, typography was a specialized occupation. Digitization opened up typography to new generations of previously unrelated designers and lay users. As the capability to create typography has become ubiquitous, the application of principles and best practices developed over generations of skilled workers and professionals has diminished. So at a time when scientific techniques can support the proven traditions (e.g., greater legibility with the use of serifs, upper and lower case, contrast, etc.) through understanding the limitations of human vision, typography as often encountered may fail to achieve its principal objective: effective communication.

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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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