Type Anatomy: Katrina Bittner

I have always loved calligraphy and manuscripts. It is amazing how symmetrical, and balanced the typeface that someone creates can be. When looking at all the different texts available to us in the library, I noticed that most of the type was symmetrical in height, and width, and well as distance. Some documents featured different sizes and formats of text to emphasize a part of the document, or add artistic flair. I found it interesting that calligraphy and cursive is seen as something fancy and less common in our times, but in “Thinking with Type” Ellen Lupton mentions that cursive as seen as an easier type, and was no considered as fancy as it is today.

I greatly appreciate that we are fortunate enough to have such a rich collection at the manuscripts, archives, and special collections at our library. When browsing through the collection, several documents caught my eye. My favorites were the Alice in Wonderland book (because of its beautiful color), and the map of WSU from 1946. I decided to focus on the map because I felt like I could relate to it the most. I loved feeling like I could step backwards in time and get a glimpse of what our campus was like back in the day. The map, designed by Jolly Elmer Lindgren, featured several different type faces that helped divide the map in several different portions. A large banner on the top contains the title, featuring a retro style type with emphasized first letters. This retro text is featured throughout the map but in a smaller, less bold style. The map contains serif and sans serif type in different portions. Interestingly, all of the type is in all uppercase letters, and some are in italic. They all have consistent height, and about half have sharp edges and the rest have rounded edges. I found this interesting because the map had so many different type variations to look at, yet it remained balanced and felt organized.

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