Friday, January 27, 2012

Your turn #2

Incunabula by William Morris (1834-1896)
Hi. This class consisted of a more detailed survey of the history of graphic design right after Gutenberg and into the Counter-Reformation. We examined the impact of the new technology for 1- standardization, 2- new forms of reading, 2- a new market, 3- division  of labor, etc.

Simultaneously, one can see a stylistic development in typeface as such, which has two aspects: the inherent technological advance makes possible a different production of typeface styles as well as the proliferation of regional differences (for example, why is it that Gothic becomes so popular in Germany shortly after Gutenberg where as Rotunda, a similar sharp-cornered yet slightly more rounded script is created in Bologna?).        

(as we saw, some designers, such as Ratdolt, who worked in Venice, are good at both) .

We also talked about the book as a kind of architecture. Once we have printers and regional styles, we get a sort of "made in" constant. So we get, incipit, rubrication, border, frame, column, marginalia & illustrations, all aspects of standardization of the profession:
example of illustration inside the page using metal engraving, copper plates, an intaglio method
so-called column, they are explanatory notes around the text of the laws, in fact the type is set so that notes are arranged to surround the text in incunabula
Pick any of these themes or any variation of it. 

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of comparing typeface to architecture. The juxtaposition is, in some ways, obscure, but at the same time, so true. There is a lot of geometrical consideration that goes in to both. How tall should the letter/building/story/page/line be? At what angle should the line/wall be set to? Where is the best position for a window/image? A connection can also be made to the way that the purpose of both typefaces and architecture is to build something that did not exist previously. Up until recently, with the invention of computers, both related back to the idea from last week’s post, obsolescence. If well preserved, both can last for millennia, but they decay. Now, however, typefaces are more permanent than building are in a way. Pixels can’t decay the way that ink on paper can. Especially not with the way that data is globally shared. In the context of the human condition, I wonder if this signifies a greater importance for sharing ideas than having shelter. Or perhaps architecture is moving to the cyber world soon.

Alexandra Roe

Anonymous said...

The variability of typeface from hundreds years ago really amazed me. If we compare a book to a kind of architecture, the typeface must be groundsill, it's the most important part of a book. Just like a building is not just for living, a book is not just for reading, it is really a piece of art. The border, column, frame, marginalia, cover...every part of the book is not just randomly made. There are interactive connections between them and make a single piece together. It is absolutely brilliant and I'll never look a book the same way before.
I think that is the reason why kindle or any e-books cannot replace the real book at the moment. Maybe people haven’t realized the design of a book always unconsciously impact the way we access the content. Without the certain way of design, some important features or information may lose. A book on kindle will never be the same book in entity.

Qiansongzi Chen

aTrifF said...

... the border, column, frame, marginalia, cover...every part of the book is not just randomly made. There are interactive connections between them and make a single piece together.

True,Qiansongzi.

Jamie said...

In the wake of Johannes Gutenberg’s introduction of modern book printing and invention of movable type, the Printing Revolution permeated Europe, revolutionizing the way that graphic designers of the time utilized type. Literature was generated on a larger scale and typefaces became recurring trends in different parts of the continent. The job market was no longer in need of scribes or tedious hand-done printing blocks. There was a higher demand for precision in typefaces and laborers to reproduce and distribute printed items to the masses. Type was transitioning from being a necessity to copy down ideas to being a trademark style of a region. It is at this point in design history that I believe the art of design was establishing its foundations. Recognition is a key element of design today and without it, many works run the risk of being misunderstood. Every country had a customary design foundation (ie. a distinctive typeface) off of which they could build and elaborate to express their unique design concepts. Thank you, Gutenberg, for creating a sort of beneficial order in the beautiful madness of the old graphic design world.

Jamie Shankman

Anonymous said...

I am so intrigued by the detailed borders by these early books not only because of the precision but because decoration like this in our books has been completely lost in the day and age. I believe the ornamentation of the pages of the books served as a marketing tool to get readers excited (or at least curious) about this new tool of communication. With high levels of illiteracy in the early days of prints and books, people could enjoy books for their content, and if they could not read, the books were also pleasing to the eye. Now that we read books from our kindles and ipads (our mundane, go-to gadgets), we are losing the pleasure of not only reading something beautiful but losing out on the physical beauty that a book and its contents can offer.

Natalia de la Canal

monkeytoe said...

One of the interesting similarities between typography and architecture is their balance between art and usefulness. When you think of some of the outrĂ© experiments that Carson was using in Raygun (typefaces printed on glass and then using the shadows from shining a light above the glass for the page) that bordered or even crossed the line to illegibility, would those work in architecture? If legibility is the core usefulness of typography (arguable) and then livability is the core usefulness of architecture (also arguable) when do those experiments cross over into either sculpture for architecture or pure art for typography? Is an unlivable house, still a house? Is an unreadable book, still a book? Another interesting idea is how architecture and typography convey tone or tenor. When reading Peter York’s article on “Despot Chic” in the Independent last June, I wondered if it was possible to convey that kind of power and intimidation with type. Is it? If so, how?

Link: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/peter-york-revealed-gaddafis-taste-for-despot-chic-2291510.html


Robert Wright

Augie Kazickas said...

The reading suggests that Gutenberg's infant typeface was a late bloomer. For fifty years, graphic design on the printing press was mechanical mimicry, designs and styles were copied from the latest manuscripts and incunabula. The innate qualities of metal cast type - precision, clarity, boldness, -were adapted later and only then assimilated into new graphic style on manuscript. The printing press and moveable typeface allowed for mass production of work that increased the geographical radius of influence. To promote business in an expanded market, printers left their logo or marks on the title pages of the print. Sort of like an artist signing his/her name. Typeface design was thus personalized. Printers were taking credit and becoming aware of their graphic design. Typeface, as stated, was turning into architecture and was treated with high regards. It took five years at a guild apprenticeship to become only what they called a "journeyman" freelancer. (Funny how similar the length of the architecture program is here.)I think the establishment of typeface as a fine art helped continue the development of graphic design.

can zarb said...

The technology for standardization made things possible to be reached by more people and gave access to people to read more. Therefore it created a new field for creating different typefaces to generate interest and make books look more beautiful and catchy. When it comes to regional differences in typefaces, it is because every region, or country has its own unique style that differentiates it from others based on their cultures. And with today’s technology every region is aware of some other regions style that gives readers a broad range of options to enjoy reading. And it is unfortunate that today’s gadgets replace the only importance of the books, it’s tangibility by being electronic. As mentioned in the class, what would you do with a book if you can’t highlight the important parts or taking notes on it? I think the ‘old school’ books kind of have memories in them where you can realize it years after.

Anonymous said...

I do not think that many people would associate a book with architecture. This is an interesting idea because there are multiple elements of creating a book that developed over the years. Architecture is related to books because they have become designed to include a title page, appendices, borders, columns, and illustrations. Last class taught me about the difficulty of producing one book before Gutenberg, Ratdolt, Manutuis, and Griffo. Nowadays, the process is quicker and easier in producing vast amount of copies. Perhaps we forget about the past and the difficulties they encountered because they were not equipped with the same advances in technology as today. In the past, intricate machines and hard labor were used to produce books. Typeface developing was new technology for individuals because it helped to spread literacy among individuals due to the higher circulation of books. In conclusion, the development of printing has grown where we are able to design and create books through programs like Photoshop.

Ashley Bahamon

Alfredo Triff said...

When you think of some of the outré experiments that Carson was using in Raygun (typefaces printed on glass and then using the shadows from shining a light above the glass for the page) that bordered or even crossed the line to illegibility, would those work in architecture?

good point. this is carsonat his best.

Anonymous said...

It really is so interesting to think about how typefaces (now on a less restricting medium) began to blossom. Who decided that a typeface would become a work of art in a way, and not just simply a means of dry communication? If a government, say, had been in charge of creating a way of written documentation and communication with its citizens, perhaps written text would be less appealing, and more cut and dry. So now that text was developing as a form of art, what elements of the environment inspired the emerging typefaces? Perhaps like Gaudi did with his architecture, designers may have drawn hints from nature in constructing the forms. Perhaps the goal was to be far away from nature in fact, and the points and hard lines of gothic type emerged. Or maybe the reason different styles developed in various countries was the role social culture played on designers, and the type needed to accurately portray a representation of the people.

Lauren Hahamovitch

Nan Gallagher said...

The books and manuscripts that we have looked at in class that were made during Gutenberg’s time were all equivalent to artistic masterpieces. An incredible amount of painstaking detail went into each page, illustration, and word. Even with the invention of the printing press and the beginning of more standardization of printing, the books were seen as more than just reading material. As we mentioned in class, people would look forward to reading these books in the way that we now look forward to watching new episodes of a show. Books were the way people were both educated and entertained. In the same way that the style and type of television shows that we watch in the US differs from other places around the world, the style of the books differed by region. Typography would not be the same everywhere because areas would prefer the style of typography that best complements their culture, artwork, and illustration styles. In today’s time a book is seen as merely a way of keeping a bunch of words together, and will be published in the same font with the same cover around the world. But several hundred years ago they played a much more important role in the cultural development and representation of the various regions.

Amy said...

This lecture got me interested in buildings where typography is integral to the design, essentially, constructions with alphabetical foundations.
It is needless to say, that this is another way in which design is once more present in all the aspects of our lives.
Here is a link to the Steingruber's architectural alphabet, which used letters to illustrate buildings.

http://www.spamula.net/blog/2005/10/steingrubers_alphabet.html

This also got me thinking about the use of graffiti to mark the authenticity of buildings and give it a different flavor. I think this also helps illustrate the connection between letters and buildings. I came across Dutch graffiti artist Delta aka. Boris Tellegen whose work merges graffiti and architectural form through the use of 3D graffiti designs.
Here is a link to one of her exhibitions.

http://arrestedmotion.com/2011/11/openings-boris-tellegen-delta-abundance-alice-gallery/

Also these are some neat pictures of buildings that use the alphabet as their basis for design.

http://ginva.com/2011/09/when-architecture-meets-typography/


- Liudamy Sedeno

joyce sosa said...

When we talked in class about typefaces and books right after Gutenberg, it reminded me when I attended my printmaking class. Attending this class helped me value more the printing process in the past, because it takes hard work, time , dedication and patience to have a print. Moreover these books had extremely detailed work, therefore they had to spend even more time to get a finish result. It is sad that this is a form of art that is slowly disappearing. As mentioned once in class, before, schools used to include calligraphy in the education program. However it has started to disappear and being replaced with computerized softwares. It is like a photograph, it is not the same to take a digital photo and print it with a printer than to actually go through the process of developing and exposing your own picture in a dark room, you have a special link with the piece.
It is amazing how the designs are so clean and the grids are so perfectly designed that even though the illustration is heavy, together everything falls smoothly into place. An important part of graphic design is how you digest the visual information given to you making the piece not being heavy when looking at it. This is the result of hard work and mastership of printing and design.

Ana Trinchet said...

The stylistic development in typeface is very interesting. We have this examples here which are handmade which has such richness and creativity and the other hand now days we have technology which in a way gives us an advantage and more opportunities to be further imaginative when doing typeface. However I find completely amazing and intriguing the typeface of the Incunabula by William Morris than a regular book printed now days. The detail put in every page of these book, beginning we just the border, the precision and beauty of its astonishing. Every page has its own uniqueness, it is like being in a different place every time you turn a page. Also the intriguing part of this is that every page is design so carefully and with such a symmetry is like architecture. Everything with a meaning and precision.


Ana Trinchet

Anonymous said...

Seeing a book as a form of architecture was challenging for me in the beginning. I cannot say I agreed. However, in class when we went back hundreds of years and I saw the amount of work, time, and thought it took into just printing and developing a book I could not have agreed more. Today technology has made it possible to make thousands of copies of a book and without much thought or effort. When going back centuries, you can see that for an artist a book was their master piece. The typeface, the margins, and the pictures were all done by hand. Last class we spoke about how type face was like a code and table of elements. Each had its own style and uniqueness. I think of it as unraveling a code. Margins gave each book a framing. When looking at these margins, you can see the amount of detail in each one and every detail matters. In The Book of Hours, a devotional book and book of prayer, the script and images compliment each other in a way that really stood out to me. I loved the technique Pigouchet used, which was called crible. Each type face stroke went hand in hand with the margin and the images. Like I mentioned before, every detail mattered to these artists; it was their work of art. Today the story line and actual writing is the most important part. Computers now do everything for us; we pick the margins we want, we pick a font, and pick the colors we are going to use. Not much art and planning goes into making a book today.

- Erika Gonzalez-Rebull

Luzyanis Fraga said...

Architecture and books have developed through time in order to adjust to the advancements of technology. The value of a book, and a architectural drawing done by hand has been transformed with the use of the computer. The fact that these two are no longer produced by hand have converted these documents into antiques with a significant value. I consider that the ancient books are drawings in which proportions, symmetry and composition were taken into consideration. Therefor, they are as precise and elegant as drawings made by the architects of the same time period. The Incunabula by William Morris can me compared with the early Renaissance work from artists such as Donato Bramante, and Filippo Brunelleschi. It is incredible that such amazing innovations were taking place in Europe even before Christopher Columbus had discovered America. The reproductions of drawings and books now a days is much more different than in ancient time. The process of printing which used to involve the labor of many workers has been replaced by a simple click in the computer.
Luzyanis Fraga

Lindsey Reiff said...

I think that the concept of an entire book as an art form is so lost upon us in the age of iPads, Kindles, and soulless replicas of the books that are actually printed and read. The font, illustrations, borders, and overall design are impeccable and I imagine that the cover was especially ornate and composed of materials that we would not dream of including in a book. This post serves to remind us just how much we are missing out on when we view a piece of literature simply as the story we read in it, when in reality we should be taking away a much deeper story. That is the story of how these books have completely changed the expression of art and the way our world looks today. The fact that they enabled regions to differentiate themselves from one another via typeface is something that cannot be overlooked. Art is the most essential aspect of a country or city’s quest for its own identity. Beginning with typeface and books, and moving into all mediums, art is the main source of a country’s sense of pride and achievement, and many times even shapes the industry, as is the case with Venetian glass. In some cases it is the work of a particular artist, such as the architecture of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona and the works of Marc Chagall in Russia and France, and many times it is the style as a whole, shaped by many artists and replicated by countless more. I find it amazing that these places have been able to create their own history and sometimes wish that America had been able to do the same, but in a way it has. Look at the music in Nashville and New Orleans, the architecture in New York, the lights in Las Vegas, and even though it is a stretch, the nightlife here in Miami. Every state has formed a certain culture, and in my opinion, everything about culture can be considered an art form.

kaitlin said...

Looking at an incunabula and appreciating the craftsmanship and beauty is as fulfilling as reading the text. I love how illustrations are interwoven with the text and text is placed within other texts- it creates a different level of communication and experience. The standardization of production as a result of technology provided artistic freedom and more widespread availability. Additionally, it allowed any person, literate or illiterate, to enjoy the book. I imagine the increased accessibility of books during that time had a similar feeling as when radio became a major form of communication and entertainment in the home. Or, more recently, when it became possible to carry around a library of books on a Kindle or iPad. However, reading a typical book (especially electronically) today is hardly as visually stimulating as incunabula. The book, and electronic readers have become more of a means to and end than an end in itself.

Anonymous said...

To view the book as architecture in the since of the proliferation of regional differences we can draw a parallel to how styles are developed. Regional architecture or vernacular architecture is a stylistic dialect of different building typologies spoken within a particular locality. The conditions of this locality pens the reality of these static expressions built in tangible matter. They are, for the most part, a direct reaction to the environment of this locality. Defenses and manipulations of wind, rain, and snow become shelter yet, the matter which vernacular devises compose building creates a distinctive style. If we think of type in a similar manner, it too has a utilitarian job: to communicate. The simple act of effective communication too is altered by its environment and style is created. And this style is furthermore individualized by cultural prefaces and normality. This type is similar to architecture in that it is a static utilitarian devise which serves is enhanced with nomenclatures of expressions which in term make them stylistically different yet operationally the same.

Eric Rodgers

milkncereal said...

Listening about the history of graphic design and its great progress from handwritten manuscripts, Gutenberg’s printing press, to now our Kindle, we all cannot help but think we will one day no longer have books. This reminds me of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 which is about a dystopia where reading is outlawed and firemen would burn books. Bradbury’s interpretation of our progression into visual technology is resulted by a society that digests knowledge in “factoids,” meaning without context just plain ideas that are often inaccurate. Bradbury’s idea of a declining society is a negative one, but one can see why since television and the internet have transformed how we prefer to receive our information. Design dictates our way of thinking, the Kindle and the iPad are designs to remove ourselves from a flat paper and words. However, aren’t we dictating our designs? I begin to see this progress of technology differently in that we simply digest information through a new interactive way, instead of a flat, 2D surface. In other words, like we discussed, it is a new market, a new market of perception. I don’t believe our market for books will completely be gone until much later when technology is better as you also mentioned. However, it is our evolution that is manifesting in our technology which creates a new way of thinking and perceiving, not that technology is destroying or taking away our appreciation for reading; we just intake information differently.

Some thoughts,
Jacinta Yong

Anonymous said...

The construction of a book and the construction of a building have more similarities then one may think. They both need certain elements in order to work. A book needs its binding, title, margins, illustrations, etc to be recognized by most people as a book. Same thing goes for a building. It needs its walls, doors, roof, windows, etc to be recognized as a building. Both of these progressed with technology simultaneously and have always been relating to each other. During the Gothic period, when the architecture was much more ornate, so was the type face and the book design, both full of intricate details. As technology advanced, architecture became simpler and the easier to mass-produce. The important civic buildings and the occasional house are well thought out, but for the most part, a style is picked and simple design is developed. Same thing with books, besides art related books, and some textbooks, book design has gotten dramatically simpler. Most books now are on a blank sheet with an even margin and simple computer black text. And now in the present, we rely on the technology in our buildings. We have doors that open for us, toilets that flush, sinks that wash our hands, lights that turn on when we enter a room, and the list goes on. And at this point, I feel that the connection between the two is lost. Books are no longer designed. Almost every book in the world can now be viewed on a Kindle or something similar. Every book looks the same when it’s on a computer screen.

Josef Albert

Emilee Lau said...

With today's ever-advancing technology, it is extremely easy to take for granted the level of convenience given to artists, authors, illustrators, and graphic designers. Printmaking and typography have both been made user-friendly to the point where it only takes less than thirty seconds to print out an entire page of sophisticated text and images. I can only imagine how the printers of incunabula would have reacted if they knew…. The point is, printers and various software make it so that anyone with a computer can create or copy and paste in image into a document and create a body of text using one of a list of installed fonts.

As a current and first-time silk screening student, I can attest to the fact that traditional printmaking is not an easy process or a short one (not to mention the fact that I’m not printing a book of Biblical phrases using 15th century materials). Although the same materials are being used more or less, (paper and CMYK colored inks) the process proves to be much more extensive and tedious than pressing “control+p” on a keyboard.

It is also important to note the predicaments that face typographers and graphic designers today, for example the perfection of text spacing (kerning) or issues like which shade of Pantone color will convey the right “emotion” to consumers in the advertising message. It is apparent that with new technology and conveniences, new challenges will prevent themselves in order for graphic designers and Type A’s alike to move one more step towards perfection.

Anonymous said...

Design plays a large role in typeface and seems to be directly relevant to the way we view everything. It seems from the very first cast from 1400’s until the first bound book, each technological advance from that period can still be seen today. Currently there are tons of different typefaces however they all have one thing in common, they all provide a visual expression of something someone else wanted to convey to another. I think books are true examples of architecture. Starting with the process, how it is planned and designed and then built. Buildings are sometimes seen as works of art, I think some books are also considered as such. A perfect examples are The Nuremberg Chronicle and Plantin’s Biblia Polyglotta. These are timeless and beautiful. Although the process and planning used to produce these works of art are antiquated compared to today’s advanced technology, it’s amazing that the books being produced today are so similar. One could even argue e-readers are designed, although not physically, to mimic these classic works.

Suelyn Chong

Ernest said...

If we say that there was a very strong influence and similarities between the architecture that took place during the Renaissance and the composition of the Books of the time, I believe that the same thing could be said about contemporary architecture and the way we create our books today. When we study the architecture that took place around the time of the Renaissance, we understand that it was an architecture that was based in a system of proportions based on the human buddy and objects from nature, there was a high level of ornamentation and detail that took place in the composition of the building; Incunabula by William Morris, shares many of the compositional aspects of this style of architecture. If we fast-forward and look at the beginning of what is known today as modern Architecture we can see that this was an architecture fully driven by technology, architecture stopped simulating human scale and started to simulate industrial machines, a good example is “Centre Pompidou” by Renzo Piano; the same thing could be said about books today, in fact they are fully technology driven, they were fully striped from their ornamentation and became minimalistic like modern architecture; some don’t even come in the form of tangible objects but as digital data known as e-books.. The question is whether the changes have been for the better of humanity or for the worst. One thing is clear is that technology today, is allowing us to do cheaper buildings with nature friendlier materials; same thing could be said about e-Books, not only that they are slightly cheaper but definitely greener.

Written By Ernest Morales

Lisandra said...

When I look at the composition of these pages from the Incunabula by William Morris I can see a close relation with the architecture that was taking place around the same time that these pages were created. They express a certain order, symmetry and hierarchy; Andrea Palladio’s work is a great example, if you look at the Villa Rotonda you can easily see how elements such as columns, structural frame, floors slabs and roof come together in a very clever and elaborated way in order to compose the whole which in this case is the Villa; when I look at these pages I’m seeing a very similar compositional approach; I see how there is an interactive connection between the pieces that form the whole which in this case is the Incunabula by William Morris. It was a great lecture because it gave me the opportunity to look at the composition of a book from a new perspective.

Lisandra Nunez

Anonymous said...

I never thought to compare the construction of a book to the construction of a building, but now that I have I see how they are strikingly similar. The terminology listed in the original post is used in both. However, I believe the most important similarity these two art forms share is how technological developments have drastically shaped them.
In the case of books, I see regression. Take pictures in the original post for example, they show detail and original design. Uniquely arranged columns and drawn in illustrations like the ones shown, no longer exist in books. This is because the process is done almost entirely with modern technology.
From an architectural standpoint, I see a positive and negative effect from technologies influence. On one hand, modern technology has taken architecture to new level that I don't believe could be possible in its absence. For example, green design. The use of modern technology makes this eco-friendly option available. However, I also do see from an artistic standpoint how the switch to computerized planning and blue prints can be seen as a loss of the architects real sense of creativity and ideas.

-Alexa Prosniewski

Kristen Vargas Vila said...

I consider type such an important aspect of graphic design because it’s what communicates a message to viewers. Typography literally means drawing with type.
During last class, I was reminded of a quote I in my graphic design class: “type is like frozen sound” because like actual sound, it too has irregularity and rhythm. Rhythm can also be created graphically through space and type. Type can also be listened to, meaning that certain fonts convey different meanings. It can serve as a shape or metaphor. The second quote that came to mind last class when talking about type was: “expressive type requires reasonable quietness to be heard,” meaning the placement of typography in graphic design must be strategic. Technology has had a huge impact on the evolution of type. From the printing press to today, the technological advancements determine how type is created.

-Kristen Vargas Vila

Anonymous said...

I think it's interesting to see how important typography has been throughout history, and not just in recent years. Even hundreds of years ago, typography was much more then just letters on a page. With the help of the printing press, type could be standardized and ultimately personalized. People could use different forms of type as a sort of "signature" to their work, putting their own personalized touch on it. Even then, people were taking those 26 letters we are all so familiar with and changing them ever so slightly to make them their own. Thus, different typefaces started to emerge.

-Maddie Nieman

Anonymous said...

Most of the blog comments this week focus on the relationship between typography and architecture. Letters and typeface act as the building blocks of the written word. Ineffective alone, they gain significance when they begin to interact. A few comments began to explore the interesting avenue of light in regards to this theme. One comment discusses Carson’s use of glass and shadows in creating typefaces. It also asked whether these principles might be transferred into architecture. This prompted me to consider the importance of light in the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge. Here, the specific alignment of stones co-inside with the summer and midwinter solstices each year. Sundials are another ancient design initiative that makes use of the fall of light. Some have described the Roman Pantheon as a giant sundial.

In my comment last week I remarked that our modern world seems driven by convenience and speed. It was interesting to analyze the roots of this fixation with the development of printing and distribution to the masses. These issues didn’t emerge with the evolution of the kindle; they go far back into our history.

Another comment mentioned the idea that over time typography blossomed into a form of art rather than dry communication. But, although I understand the sentiment behind this argument, it is not possible to separate art from communication. Design can express a multitude of ideas and emotions. As the saying goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.

Harriet Ashton

Patty Alfaro said...

I was completely unacquainted with the effects of letter press technology during the sixteenth century, until the lecture last class, at which point its huge impact on Renaissance society became quickly apparent. New technologies allowed for quick dissemination of information at the price of individuality and uniqueness of text. A maker’s specific scribe or style was replaced with reusable letters, as well as conventions for punctuation and spelling. While standardization provided for a common ground in knowledge, it was not without any detrimental effects. Images were more often simply generic representations of the plants, animals, or locales they were meant to portray. Any misinformation in fact could be spread considerably farther and to a larger audience than inaccuracies spread during manuscript times. So for all its benefits, more efficient printing could cause just as much harm. Moreover, newer methods of production created rifts in skill, requiring different people to specialize in different aspects of the process. Tools for one step such as punch cutting, could be ordered from one country, but used in another.

Patty Alfaro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isaac Stein said...

The relation of typeface to technology and culture is inherent to nature. The ability to create evolves with advent of technology (movable type, etc.) and the feeling of ones surroundings (culture) as well as self. Someone living in the early 20th century in Germany or Holland who is surrounded by the avant-garde nature of the De Stijl period is likely to create minimal and primary color designs and typefaces. Post World War II, corporations incorporated Helvetica to create a concise and smooth image of their company due to the nature of America culture and the economic boom. Furthermore, Gutenberg surrounded by Gothic architecture and the counter-reformation setting and the ability to express his experience through the typeface by the technology available to him. His typeface recalls the feelings of his time, with a consistent composition (standardization) and a gothic architectural feel to the font.

Architecture and typefaces have similar influences for they are both human made designs to express and expedite the way of life. The notion of what is the right addition to life changes with time and place. Gutenberg and architects of his time created works in which involved the technology of the time (vaults, masonry, order, buttresses, etc.) as well as incorporating the lavish and ornate lifestyle of the high culture. Architects and typeface of today utilize the technology of computing and create a clear concept of design in the information clutter of modern life.

Tonysiiz said...

I do not think that many people would associate a book with architecture. This is an interesting idea because there are multiple elements of creating a book that developed over the years. Architecture is related to books because they have become designed to include a title page, appendices, borders, columns, and illustrations. Last class taught me about the difficulty of producing one book before Gutenberg, Ratdolt, Manutuis, and Griffo. Nowadays, the process is quicker and easier in producing vast amount of copies. Perhaps we forget about the past and the difficulties they encountered because they were not equipped with the same advances in technology as today. In the past, intricate machines and hard labor were used to produce books. Typeface developing was new technology for individuals because it helped to spread literacy among individuals due to the higher circulation of books. In conclusion, the development of printing has grown where we are able to design and create books through programs like Photoshop. Ashley Bahamon