Type Anatomy: Camille Oppedal

After doing the reading of Ellen Lupton’s Thinking with Type, I discovered a number of ways to pick apart the various components of font, such as the implementation of cap height, x-height, stems, bowls, serifs, and etc. But perhaps most importantly, stylistic choices like scale, contrast, and fluidity are the aspects to consider when creating a font. It is important for letters to be individually legible and independent without looking out of place when combined– they need to look like they belong within the same stylistic theme.
The font that I chose to analyze for this blog post is from the english translation of the originally French novel, Of the Friendship of Amis and Amile. This translation was published in the late 19th century, 1894, but I would say that stylistically, it most closely resembles the Bodoni type classification of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as it can be clearly distinguished by the combination of thin and thick strokes. Perhaps the traditional style of the font is to emulate the fact that the novel is translated from ancient french. The serifs of this font are seemingly random, only appearing on capital letters, and in varying thicknesses. The bowls, terminals, and cross-bars emphasize the variable weight of the font, with both thick and thin strokes. The x-height of most letters is relatively tall compared to the cap height, as noticeable in the uppercase B and lowercase e in the word “Bericain.” The ascender case is also relatively small, as seen in the word “father,” where the f , t, and h, are not much taller than the a, e, and r. However, the descender height is comparatively taller than the ascender height, as shown in the case of the various uppercase P’s, such as in Peter and Paul. Clearly, the stylistic choice of this font is to indicate capitalization through wider letters and descending height taking precedence over Ascender height.


The overall impression I have when looking at this font is that it takes care not to overwhelm the eyes with thin strokes, but also seeks to imply importance with bold, thick strokes as well. Overall, I was most taken by this text because of the intricate and beautifully designed borders and decorations surrounding the text on the page. I love the incorporation of nature with images of leaves and berries, as well as coiled, spiralling vines. I think the conscious decision to include such elaborate decoration is to provoke aesthetics of both France and the medieval period in which the story revolves.

About Camille Oppedal

20/ aquarius/ college student/ WSU/ Digital Technology and Culture major
This entry was posted in Fall 2017 Archive (336), Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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