Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Nomenclature of Letter Forms: A Brief Review of the Literature

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The Nomenclature of Letter Forms: A Brief Review of the Literature

paulshawletterdesign.com - The Belgian typographer Fernand Baudin, in How Typography Works (and why it is important) (New York: Design Press, 1988) wrote, "Novices are mistaken when they suppose there should be a 'technical term" for every product of their enthusiasm & ignorance." (p. 98)*. Although Baudin wrote this at the beginning of the digital type revolution—his text was originally published in French in 1984—his words are still applicable today. Indeed, they seem especially relevant as the horde of contemporary type geeks seem to feel that every part of every letter of the alphabet must, like the bones in the human body, have a name. This was not the view of printers and typographers of the past.

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