Type Anatomy: Lillie Williams

Ellen Lupton’s chapter, “Thinking with Type” gave an interesting idea at the beginning of the chapter. She talked about typeface having a tension of counter forces within the letters. I thought of this as a balance between different components, such as the hand vs. machine, organic vs. geometric, and human body vs. abstract system. I learned that in the eighteenth century upright humanist scripts were more expensive, while italic letters were cheaper. The chapter talked about cursive being a more casual writing style. Cursive started to be seen to calligraphers as saving time, while printers saw it as saving space.

Key components of type anatomy can include a lot of elements. There are many parts of a letter that are important including spine, x-height, stem, bowl, etc. However, the main elements that are possibly the most important can be size, scale, contrast, fluidity, and style. There are many parts of a letter that creates different interpretation for the overall typeface.

When I had the chance to visit the Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections on our campus library a particular book from the 1800’s caught my attention. It was a manuscript by the Catholic Church that contained services and music. It was made out of parchment and was in Latin as well.

When I look at the typeface I immediately thought of the monster fonts from the chapter. The letters have exaggerated proportions and the kerning is set to have larger spaces. There are small serifs on some of the letters if you look closely as well. There is also color in the text and I think it signifies the next main part, important names, or even the next paragraph in the manuscript.

I noticed that since it is not cursive, then this wasn’t seen as a casual object. Since, the author was the Catholic Church I’m guessing that this manuscript was important and it was meant to be seen clearly, which is why the size is large.

      Author: Catholic Church Picture taken by Lillie Williams from Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections on the WSU campus

Author: Catholic Church Picture taken by Lillie Williams from Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections on the WSU campus

Author: Catholic Church Picture taken by Lillie Williams from Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections on the WSU campus


This entry was posted in Fall 2017 Archive (336). Bookmark the permalink.