Bringhurst on letterforms   Leave a comment

I’ve talked here occasionally about typography in various scripts. A recently published volume dedicated to the typographic work of Hermann Zapf recently appeared on HMML’s doorstep: Jerry Kelly, About more alphabets: The types of Hermann Zapf, Typophile Chap Book, New Series no. 3 (New York, 2011). The foreword is by Robert Bringhurst, author of the delightful (and affordable) Elements of Typographic Style, and I share a few lines of it here (p. 7).

Letterforms are things that nearly all of us in the Western world have learned to take for granted. We treat them much like door knobs, water taps, thermostats, and hinges. We evidently think (in defiance of all logic) that what we read or write matters far more than how it’s read or written, and that letterforms are just a way to get there, as a door knob is a way to open a door. At their best, though, letterforms are more like sailboats and cellos. They are works of art that beg to be used as well as admired. They make demands on those who use them; in return, they lend their beauty, strength, and character to the work for which they are used.

 

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Posted June 22, 2012 by adamcmccollum in Books, Typography

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