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TY PE 10 TYPEFACES YOU SHOULD KNOW


CONTENTS

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 ITC BENGUIAT

ITC CENTURY

OPTIMA

ITC LUBALIN GRAPH

SABON

MEMPHIS

TRADE GOTHIC

MRS. EAVES

TRAJAN

UNIVERS


TYPOGRAPHY, AN INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS TYPOGRAPHY? WHY DOES IT MATTER? HOW DOES IT IMPACT OUR LIVES?

BY CHARMAINE MARTINEZ Professor of Design at California Polytechnic State University and Type Enthusiast The Merriam-Webster definition of “typography” is: “the work of producing printed pages from written material” or “the style, arrangement, or appearance of printed letters on a page.” How those letters, words, and sentences are styled and arranged affects how they are perceived. Good typography clarifies content, establishes hierarchy, and presents information in a manner that makes it easier to read, and, therefore, to understand. Good typography is good communication: it can start a dialog or advance an idea or make a difference in the world. Typography is also intertwined with our daily lives—we encounter type in everything from the products we buy, the signage around us, the books we read, the news we con-

sume, and the directions we follow. Typography can be beautiful, functional, persuasive, and inviting. It can also fail, especially when there is a disconnect between how the type looks and what the text says. This book is a celebration of typography and typeface design. It is also a creative collaboration among students in Art 338: Typography II at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, during winter quarter 2018. Each student in the class researched a different typeface and contributed the pages in this book that describe and showcase their assigned typeface. The final design reflects the many talents of the students who brought this project to life.


MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS MEMPHIS

MEMPHIS


g SLAB SERIF

MADMEMPHIS FOR ABOUT MEMPHIS Characterized as a slab serif typeface, Memphis stands out from the crowd with its geometric design. The design of the typeface was by Rudolf Wolf, a German type designer, in 1929 (Shoaf). According to Shoaf, Memphis is one of the earliest examples —following Futura and Erbar—of a geometric slab serif. Wolf designed this typeface for a German metal type foundry named D. Stempel AG (“Stempel”– Identifont). This slab serif typeface is most well known for its use as a display typeface because of its bold

and geometric appearance. Memphis can be found on posters, packaging, advertising, as well as headlines (Haley et. al., 188). Overall, Memphis is a successful typeface that paved the beginning for more slab serifs.

GEOMETRIC APPEARANCE

CHARACTERIZED AS A SLAB SERIF TYPEFACE, MEMPHIS STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD WITH ITS GEOMETRIC DESIGN.


GERMAN TYPE DESIGNER, RUDOLF

WHO IS

RUDOLF WOLF?

WOLF, WHO WAS THE DESIGNER OF THE POPULAR SLAB SERIF MEMPHIS. HE WORKED AT STEMPEL TYPE FOUNDRY WHEN HE PRODUCED HIS MOST POPULAR TYPEFACE, MEMPHIS (TYPOPHILE).

ABOUT THE DESIGNER Rudolf Wolf was German type designer who was responsible for the type design at D. Stempel AG, a German type foundry located in Frankfurt (“Dr. Rudolf Wolf”– Typophile). As Typophile mentions, Wolf was born in Hechingen, Germany in 1895 and later died by suicide in 1942. Wolf did many great things with his life including receiving a PhD from University of Frankfurt and teaching typography at Stempel (Typophile). One

of his greatest and well-known achievements was his creation of the famous Memphis typeface. In the beginning, Wolf worked as an advertising manager for D. Stempel and then became responsible for the revival of the slab serif collection of the foundry (Consuegra, 1922). Memphis started a trend of worldwide revival of slab serifs in Europe and America (Consuegra, 1930) as these typefaces regained their popularity.


HISTORY OF THE TYPEFACE HISTORY OF THE TYPEFACE The first design of the typeface, Memphis, was by Rudolf Wolf, a German type designer working at the Stempel German type foundry (“Memphis”– Linotype). Wolf first was an advertising manager, then taught typography at Stempel, and lastly worked to revive their collection of 19th century slab serifs. This revival of slab serifs by Wolf, especially Memphis, would eventually lead to a type trend of reviving these slab serif typefaces (Typophile).

The name Memphis came after the ancient Egyptian capital and was one the beginning modern Egyptian slab serifs, according to Linotype. This typeface with its geometric look was categorized as “Futura with serifs” because of both typefaces’ use of geometric shapes within their design (Linotype).

THE USE OF MEMPHIS NUMERALS IN THE BOOK PICTURED (ABOVE). MEMPHIS IN USE ON THE MOVIE POSTER FOR NIGHT MOVES (RIGHT).


Memphis was originally created in 1929 around 100 years after Egyptian slab serif typeface popularity in 1800’s (“Guide to Typestyles”– Fonts. com). The reason that Memphis was unique was that it was the first typeface that was part of the slab serif revival that happened in the 1900’s, as Fonts.com states. With the revival of slab serifs, Memphis was ahead of the pack because of its legibility and effectiveness as a display typeface. Linotype discusses how Memphis, as a result of this typeface’s success, led many others type designers to revive slab serifs worldwide. Memphis is particular provides the “clarity of a sans serif with the readability of a serif” (Linotype), and is highly recommended for small blocks of text rather than large bodies of text.

Currently, Memphis is associated with Linotype foundry as a font. Linotype has many different successful fonts, including Helvetica and Avenir (Linotype). This font foundry has been proven to produce quality fonts for over a century, according to Linotype’s website.

HERMES LOGO WITH ITS USE OF A MODIFIED MEMPHIS MEDIUM TYPEFACE

EXAMPLE OF MEMPHIS IS USE. STEEL FURNITURE AD IN ARCHIV FÜR BUCHGEWERBE UND GEBRAUCHSGRAPHIK, NR. 11/12, 1929 (SWISS SPECIAL EDITION).


THE SERIF ON THE CAPITAL A IS HORIZONTAL AND UNBRACKETED,

A CLOSER LOOK AT MEMPHIS VISUAL ANALYSIS The typeface, Memphis, can first be identified because of its distinct appearance as a slab serif. In addition, this typeface sets itself apart from other typefaces by drawing upon geometry (Haley et. al., 188). As Haley et. al. mentions, some of the shapes found within Memphis are perfectly round and circular, leading Memphis’s classification as a geometric slab serif (188). The roundness and circularity of letterforms can be found within the low-

ercase letters such as g or p which demonstrate these characteristics. In addition to this, another noticeable characteristic that Memphis has it within the capital A. According to Haley et. al., the serif on the capital A is horizontal and unbracketed, which is a distinction of slab serifs (188). The only uppercase letter in Memphis that breaks this the uppercase Q. Unlike the uppercase A, the Q breaks the horizontal with the

Q

A obtuse tail angle (Haley et. al., 188). One other way to identify Memphis can be through its lowercase r. This identifying element is through its ear which is simplified into a circle (Tam, 10). In addition, according to Tam, the use of a single storey a and g is another way to be able to identify this slab serif typeface (10).

THE ONLY UPPERCASE LETTER IN MEMPHIS THAT BREAKS THIS THE UPPERCASE Q.

stroke is something that is unique to Memphis as an Egyptian slab serif (Tam, 10). There are parts in which in which the stroke appears to look thinner, but these are optical adjustments to maintain a consistent look, as Tam mentions. In addition, Tam suggests that Memphis has hints of influence from Futura with regain of modernism in design (10). Memphis, As a slab serif, there are some things as an Egyptian slab serif, was a typethat set Memphis apart from other face that was different from slab serslab serifs. The use of a monolinear ifs previously produced in the 1800’s.


A BCDE FG H I J K L MN O PQ R S T U V W X Y Z abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

MEMPHIS Memphis LT Std Light

MEMPHIS Memphis LT Std Medium

MEMPHIS

MEMPHIS

Memphis LT Std Light Italics

Memphis LT Std Bold


CONCLUSION

CONCLUSION WITH MEMPHIS’S ROUND AND PERFECT CIRCLES USED WITHIN ITS LETTERFORMS, A VIEWER CAN SEE HOW MEMPHIS CAN BE CALLED “FUTURA WITH SERIFS”

Memphis, as a typeface, has hints of geometry that lend itself to excellent use in display text. With Memphis’s round and perfect circles used within its letterforms, a viewer can see how Memphis can be called “Futura with serifs” (Linotype). In addition as an slab serif, Memphis was the first of a revival of slab serifs during the 19th century (Identifont) and was the catalyst of slab serif popularity. The versatility of Memphis can be found in the typeface’s many uses including advertisements to packaging. The legibility of the typeface makes it easy to read and eye-catching as display text. This typeface would be excellent in projects such as book covers in which there is not a lot of body text. In addition, Memphis could also be excellent in something (such as a menu) in which legibility is needed, but there is more of a need for more warmth than a sans serif typeface. Memphis is an extremely successful and versatile slab serif that set the bar for the beginning of slab serif revivals.


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10 Typefaces You Should Know  

A small excerpt from 10 Typefaces You Should Know, a historical exploration of the most famous typefaces

10 Typefaces You Should Know  

A small excerpt from 10 Typefaces You Should Know, a historical exploration of the most famous typefaces

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