1.1.2 Notes on the ‘sum of particles’

I consider grapheme systems and subsequently formalized representations, i.e. type, as the sum of particles. Defining these particles not only provides means for a better understanding of the underlying harmonics and dynamics, but also creates parameters for the artificial creation and computerized measurement of type and typography. Computerized measurement could even form the basis for parametrized
legibility research.

Type design: the sum of partcles

The figure above shows the systems involved in the creation of written letters (1–4). By adding the factors formalization and idiom the result is a formal group of graphemes, which may form a ‘typeface’. Of course, the tweaking of the first four systems already creates personal structures and patterns, but type design offers more options for adding sophisticated and refined details, i.e. idiom, than writing with a prefixed or partly customizable tool, such as a broad nib or a flexible pointed pen.

About Frank E. Blokland

Frank E. Blokland is type designer (of amongst other typefaces, DTL Documenta and DTL Haarlemmer), Senior Lecturer in type design at the Royal Academy of Arts (KABK) in The Hague since 1987, and Lecturer / Research Fellow at the Plantin Institute of Typography, Antwerp, since 1995. Blokland founded the Dutch Type Library in 1990 and a couple of years later he initiated and supervised the development of DTL FontMaster, a set of professional font tools developed together with the German company URW++. Currently he is finishing a PhD study at Leiden University on standardizations and systematizations in roman and italic type since their Renaissance origin.
This entry was posted in 1.1 Purpose and goals. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.