Type Anatomy: Kim Santos

After reading through Ellen Lupton’s “Thinking with Type”, I realized that we humans have gotten so lazy with our handwriting, as well as our grammar. From the library’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections, I selected this piece of a prayer book, Prieres Pour La Messe Confession et Communion. It dates back to 1770-1800. And to my surprise, the entire thing is a manuscript. I was impressed with the work.

I’ve always been interested in fonts that look more natural and organic, and well, basically handwritten. I was stunned to see that this is what “handwritten” looked like centuries ago. It’s interesting to think about the fact that more formal font these days was viewed as more simple and casual in this time. The type presented here is done in serif style and goes back to Geofry Tory’s series of “the anatomy of letters to the anatomy of man”. The fonts from the 1800s derived from the influences of this series and the engraving processes with copper that followed along after it. Writers before the 1800s rejected any kind of fonts that didn’t live up to their standard of classic Renaissance.

As someone who loves manuscript pieces and has a huge adoration of calligraphy, I am no heavily inspired to create a font in this similar style. I’ve also always favored serif over san serif, and am also an art enthusiast with much love for the Renaissance. I look forward to studying more about this era and topic.

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