Type anatomy: Jen Ladwig

This is the title page of “Prieres pour las messe, confessions, et communion” by William Rollinson. This book was printed sometime between 1770 and 1800.

This is the title page of the book “Prieres pour la messe, confession, et communion,” a French prayer book. The entire book is written by hand, and it shows the true artistic ability that is required to do calligraphy. The writer used a serif font, and it is very dynamic. There are thick sections of the letters and thin sections, and they are quite different in size. The writer also created several different fonts, with varied styles. The first word, “prieres,” is very decorative, with fancy embellishments on the spine. It also has a varied color, with detailed shading that give the typeform depth. With “pour,” the font has shading as well, again helping to give it more depth.

This book was written by hand. Because of the time and dedication this type of precise writing would entail, it almost certainly belonged to a wealthy person. The beauty of the text and the cover show that it would have been very labor-intensive to produce, and thus would be expensive.

Throughout the rest of the book, there is a mix of red and black text, and both italics and regular letterforms. The mix of the two distinguishes between the different types of writing in the book, such as a prayer versus a descriptive bit of text. The text is justified, for the most part, which makes the fact that it’s hand-written even more stunning. The writer had to plan out how much space the words would take up and write the lines accordingly. There were a few places where the writer seemed to misjudge the length of the line and they finished off a word with a flourish that would take it to the end of the line. This added a certain amount of flare to the text, but seemed unevenly spread throughout the book, making it stand out.

The text, although in several different styles (italics, regular, all caps, etc.) all meshed well together, making it pleasing to look at.

About Jen Ladwig

Hello world! Jen here. I am a sophomore at Washington State University, I am pursuing a degree in communication with an emphasis in journalism and media production. The goal is to get a global studies minor as well as fluency in French. I currently work as an editor at WSU's school paper, The Daily Evergreen, which I have come to realize is a job I'd love to do for the rest of my life. If I could have it my way, I would write or edit at a newspaper or magazine that had a global reach. Although I am still figuring things out, I know one thing; journalism is my calling. I have many hobbies, the most prominent of which are writing, tennis, and spending time with friends. Fun fact, I don't like to play games, so no video games or board games for me. This blog is for my Com 210 class, as a platform to post different multimedia projects we create throughout the semester.
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