Type Anatomy: Whitney Demarest

From the Letter chapter of Thinking with Type, I recognized that the main components of type anatomy include: size, scale, and style. There are other elements of type that make it unique like kerning, line height, and cap and x height.

From the visit to Manuscripts, Archives and Collections, I chose to analyze the type on the documents below. The examples are advertising that would have been displayed around town, which is why the type is larger. It is meant to be seen and recognized from a ways away if needed. It comes from the Pullman Council for Social Betterment during the time of the prohibition (1936). It addresses a Liquor problem in Pullman, and calls for people to vote against the sale of liquor.

I am a personal fan of sans serif style, and this example is a particularly good example of sans serif. Most of the examples from Manuscripts, Archives and Collections had serif font because they are from years and years ago, so I was surprised to find that this article from 1936 didn’t follow that same pattern/style.

If you look at the “E” in “Education” in the first picture, note where the middle line of the E rests. It is below the halfway point – from the reading, this means that the type has a consistent/ normal cap-height, but a particularly low x-height. The scale of the lettering is different that the standard type, and makes it stand out and feel more modern. I think that the low x-height makes the words easier to read, especially because the type is in all caps. The all caps type is also easier to read because of the kerning applied. Kerning is the space that is added in between the letters aside normal space. This example is interesting because the word “education” has a different kerning than “control”. In todays standards, that is not good practice, but I doubt that it was a concern of printmakers in 1936.

This size of “Education in Control” make it an obvious title or heading if the piece.

Picture from the Pullman Council for Social Betterment 1936

Picture from the Pullman Council for Social Betterment 1936

Picture from the Pullman Council for Social Betterment 1936


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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s