Typography is the study, use, and design of letterforms but there are so many different subcategories of typography that it is hard to really say that that truly covers it all. Typography began about 3000 BCE with the advent of written language in Mesopotamia and has changed and developed immensely over time.
Before I went to school for graphic design, I went to college for creative writing and took many anthropology courses. I learned a bit about typography through our sections on linguistics and loved it. Because of this, I was excited to get to the module on typography and I was definitely not disappointed. The development and evolution of written languages is amazing. If you are interested in learning more about type, I recommend reading Exploring Typography – 2nd Edition by Tova Rabinowitz Deer. It was the assigned textbook for my class and has an immense amount of information about the history of typography. It’s a great starting point!
Aside from the history of typography, there are many different aspects of type that one must learn in order to fully understand typography. Typographic terminology is a great starting point after learning some of the basic history as it allows you to understand terms as you continue to learn. These terms will help you learn about type family classifications, readability and legibility, layout and grids, and designing type.
Designing your own type can be really fun. There are technical aspects of course, but sometimes you can just play around and make type out of anything.
Here is a fun alphabet I created out of paperclips for an assignment:
Have you ever tried to create your own type?