Thursday, January 17, 2013
Above, the Codex Sinaiticus, with examples of Uncials and Speculum (see the curved back of the "e" and the strokes of the "m" as is the bowl of the "a." There is also the Gothic rotunda, associated for the humanistic study and used for classical as well as vernacular texts.
One can imagine how these small serifs "changes" take place. A scribe decides to make a different mark, beautify an "m" by extending, bending its leg, or lengthen the "e"'s tail. Others like it and may follow it. After many years, that anonymous monk's design eventually becomes a "practice." As we see, including the design at this time is a social activity.
(One style of the rotunda is associated with the Italian poet Petrarch, and thus with the coming of vernacular literature).