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STYLE BOOK J U L I A RADKE


PICTOGRAPH Possibly the first form of writing, a pictograph is a symbol representing a word.

IDEOGRAPH A symbol that represents an idea that may not be completely tangible.

The hands held together represent unity of the different races.

This modern example shows the idea of no smoking in the area.


PETROGLYPH A picture made from the removing of rock, like an engraving.

HIERATIC SCALE The use of size to show importance in a piece.

The larger text of the names shows the importance of who is getting married compared to the other details.


TRADEMARK A symbol that identifies the ownership of a piece.

These logos are a trademark for whatever product they appear on. They signify their ownership over the product.

EGYPTIAN Egyptians used Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Egyptian Demotic Script. The Egyptian style included the use of simplified lines, hieratic scale, and flat, mostly in profile, figures. Colors were mostly browns, blues, greens, and yellows.


REBUS Pictures that represents words, parts of words, or sounds to create a message.

ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT A manuscript, or text, that is embellished with decorative designs, borders, or even small illustrations.


DROP CAP The first and beginning letter of a word in a written text. It is bigger and can be more ornate than the other letters. The drop cap sits within the margin of the text.

INITIAL CAP Like a drop cap, the initial cap is a larger letter at the beginning of a paragraph or work of text. However, it differs from the drop cap in that it does not go down into the margin of the text.

These two modern examples show a drastic initial cap in that the first letter is also the main focus of the entire page.


DIMINUENDO A typography technique that arranges letters from biggest to smallest. It creates a smooth transition from the drop or initial cap to the smallest text.

CARPET PAGES A piece that leaves no white space. Ornamental designs cover the entire piece. Illuminated manuscripts often contained carpet pages.

These modern carpet page posters are done by Shepard Fairey, a street artist known for his propaganda-like style that includes many carpet page style posters. Carpet pages were also popular in the 60s and 70s, for band and concert posters especially.


BORDERS Popular in illuminated manuscripts and making appearances with the invention of the printing press, borders are designs or embellishments that surround the entire edge of a piece.

INTERLACES Originating from Celtic design, interlaces are designs that look woven. This is why they are also sometimes called “Celtic knots�.


LACERTINES A kind of interlace, but lacertines are created with animals instead of abstract lines. The animals are mostly mythical creatures.

TEXTURA Popular in the Gothic era, textura was a type of writing that had upright lines with pointed serifs. Also called blackletter, textura was named for its thick dark texture.


CALLIGRAPHY One of the highest art forms in China and used in most Islamic art, calligraphy is beautiful writing. In Chinese, it is writing made up of logograms. Calligraphy is still used today as an art form.

Modern English calligraphy is equally beautiful.

CHOP A chop is a Chinese relief printing, or stamp. Its red ink is made from cinnabar and it was used to record either owners or viewers of art pieces.


LOGOGRAM Originating in China, a logogram is a character that represents an entire word. It is much like hieroglyphics but it is more abstract.

A modern logogram is the “at” sign. In order, these Chinese logograms mean “beauty” and “love”.

MOVABLE TYPE Used in the first printing press by Gutenberg and still used in letterpress today, movable type is metal or wood letterforms used on a press.


GOTHIC The Gothic style emerged from the Romanesque style in France and is also called Modern or French. The style started with architecture, characterized by pointed arches, the flying buttress, and stained glass windows. However, it emerged into art outside of just architecture. It was meant to show the beauty or glory of God to the viewer.

FLYING BUTTRESS A characteristic of the Gothic style, the flying buttress is an arched exterior support that was able to hold the new styles of taller walls and larger windows.


STAINED GLASS Another characteristic of the Gothic style, stained glass is colored glass. Found mostly on churches, it was very popular in the Gothic age.

POINTED ARCH The pointed arch was more structurally sound than the arches that came before its Gothic style era.


PRINTER’S MARKS Printer’s marks are like the trademark of book producers. They were often placed on the title page of every book that the printer printed. Popular in the 1400s was to included a cross and an orb, but there were many different types of marks, with some simply the monogrammed initials of the printer.

FLEURONS Also called printer’s flowers, fleurons were first used in the 1400s by Italian printers. Fleurons were embellished designs used on the press like type.


ITALIC Another Italian invention, italic is slanted type originally made to look more like handwriting. It was its own font before becoming a form of most fonts.

ROMAN The “normal� setting of a font, set straight, as opposed to italic. It was also created by Italians and taken to quickly in most places.


LIGATURE From the medieval style, a ligature is one character made from two combined characters.

AMPERSAND A symbol meaning “and” and originating from the Latin word “et”. It is actually a combination of the letters “e” and “t”.


Stylebook by Julia Radke