ART BY TECHNIQUE: typography

Giambattista Bodoni + a list of typography blogs

Today is the birthday of one of the old masters of typography, Giambattista Bodoni.

Gianbattista Bodoni, typeface, alphabet

Book by Bodoni. Source

Bodoni (1740-1813) was an Italian engraver, publisher, printer and typographer of high repute remembered for designing a typeface which is now called Bodoni. Giambattista Bodoni achieved an unprecedented level of technical refinement, allowing him to faithfully reproduce letterforms with very thin "hairlines", standing in sharp contrast to the thicker lines constituting the main stems of the characters.

His printing reflected an aesthetic of plain, unadorned style, combined with purity of materials. This style attracted many admirers and imitators, surpassing the popularity of French typographers such as Philippe Grandjean and Pierre Simon Fournier. Bodoni was appointed printer to the court of Parma in 1768. Important folio editions by Bodoni are works by Horace (1791), Vergil (1793), and Homer (1808). The Bodoni Museum, named for the artisan, was opened in Parma in 1963.  source  

 Adopt a Bodoni Alphabet, Giambattista Bodoni,
Adopt a Bodoni Alphabet to restore the full set of more than 600 Bodoni alphabets, their punches and  matrices. The Bodoni Museum, Parma, Italy.


I'm not an expert on typography, but I am passionate about it. I have such strong and subjective responses to typefaces that I once asked a business to stop sharing retail space with me because I couldn't bear the typeface they used on their sign. I'm sure my reputation will never be totally repaired, but I just couldn't stand it.

This blog is set in Palatino. Bodoni is not available from typepad.  Bodoni is not necessarily my favorite family of typefaces, but it's way up there in the pantheon, particularly in the larger sizes where you can really appreciate the difference between the thick and thin lines.

If you are interested in reading more about typography here is a collection of blogs and websites devoted to the field. It is not complete, of course, but a good beginning:

The History Of Visual Communications- The Masters Of Typography

I love typography


The Ministry Of Type


Print: Design For Curious Minds

Cooper Union Typography

The Type Directors Club

For The Love Of Type



Easily Amused

and check out this post on Design Observer

PS: the font sizes of the site links do not reflect on their importance. I'm just having trouble with the Typepad software allowing me to change font sizes. In this, of all posts!