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Evolution of Typefaces: From Ancient Times to the Present Day

Undoubtedly, writing is the primary way of communication. Most think that typography is a modern technique. The truth is it has been there in the universe for thousands of years. Also, typography is the basis of graphic design. Through typography alone currently, modern fonts are getting creating such as changing older typefaces and so on.

Of course, the typeface has a remarkable history that none can deny. No matter what, one should have clear thoughts about typography. Here is the brief history that you should know about typography. 

Ancient Era 

During 20,000 B.C, ancient cave paintings are in practice. Indeed, it is the form of communication that gets recorded. Later on, in 3,500 B.C., the introduction of the writing form of communication was made by the Sumerians. Due to the growth of culture and development, the world has pushed to the compulsion of complex communication. That’s what gave birth to the development of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Later on 3100 B.C, the Egyptians used symbols or ideograms in their art, architecture, and writings, after by 1600 B.C. Phoenicians introduced phonograms. It is a kind of communication that uses symbols for words. The modern phonograms such as % represent “percentage” and # to represent “number.” 

Undeniably, Phoenicians are the ones who must get the recognition of developing the very first alphabet and around 1000 B.C. After that alone, Greeks used the same alphabet. The term Alphabet came by combining the first two Greek letters, Alpha and Beta. Later, Romans used the same and created the Uppercase Alphabet. That is still in existence. That’s all about the history of alphabets. 

Evolution of Typefaces

The below points will give you a brief explanation about the evolution of typefaces year-wise. Thus, take a look,

During the 1400’s Guttenberg invented movable typefaces. It makes the world wonder since it is cheaper to get the written word. The reason why words cost high is it’s all written hand. After that, Guttenburg also introduced the first typeface, blackletter. It seems incredible to use. Still, it’s not understandable. By following that, by 1470, Nicolas Jenson created Roman Type.

When compared with blackletter, the Roman letter looks promising and understanding. On 1501Aldus Manutius created italics. It is what helped one to include a lot of words on a page. Still, Italics is used to highlight content. In 1734 William Caslon made a typeface.

The typeface, in general, has straighter serifs. Along with that, it has even more contrasts between thin and bold strokes. At present, this typeface is called the old style. After that, in 1757, John Baskerville created a Roman-style type with sharp serifs and lots of drastic contrasts. Later on, in 1780, Firmin Didot and Giambattista Bodoni invented the first modern Roman typefaces, including Didot and Bodoni. In 1815 Vincent Figgins introduced Egyptian, also called Slab Serif, a typeface with squares or boxes. After some years, during 1816, William Caslon IV developed a typeface with no serifs. 

Indeed, this is what the actual time typefaces happened, and it’s called Sans Serif typefaces. And then a lot of variations formed. During the 1920s, Frederic Goudy stepped in to create typefaces day and night. Eventually, in 1957 Swiss designer Max Miedinger developed Helvetica. It is the favorite typeface for all. 

Currently, many variations of typefaces are available. Each has unique features. That’s why you choose to buy fonts that will offer endless benefits. 

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Minibighype Editorial Team

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