Type Anatomy: Kim Conway


The inside cover from the Bible in Russian.

For the analysis of a typeface from Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections section of the library, I chose the Bible in Russian (synod version) by Nikolai Aleksandrovich Astafev that was published in 1912 by Izd. Britanskago i inostranngo bibleiskago. I chose this piece of type because I am part Bohemian (according to my Great Aunt) which is Russian Gypsy. In Ellen Lupton’s “Thinking with Type” specifically the section on letter, she offers many defining pieces of the text or typeface that is found important. She discusses sans-serif type as well as serif type. In my example of the Bible in Russian, the typeface has a very clear serif to it. She also discusses how type has changed over the centuries in both serif and sans-serif typefaces. In my example I believe that it has more of a humanist or old style type to it that has been used to make it feel more like it has been hand done in a certain way, almost like a manuscript of sorts. The typeface I have chosen from the MASC, uses a lot of ascenders and descends in its alphabet. Although the text is in Russian and far different from what I am used to seeing, I believe it is a good example of how these are used in typefaces. Following the fact that it is Russian also means that it will be different in other ways as well, like the fact that it uses a lot of small capitol lettering as well as lowercase lettering in the alphabet. The way these are arranged into words, appears to have no real patterning, but seems much more randomized. Quite a few of the characters used in this alphabet also have some beautiful filigree coming off of them as descenders or descenders.



A closer look at one of the pages of the Bible in Russian.



A close up of the typeface from the Bible in Russian.

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