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From designing letterforms to using them in visual communications


Balldrop W sample

W from a alphabet designed in Illustrator by Jacci Howard Bear | Typography is the creation, use, and admiration of type in all its forms. | Type & Fonts Glossary | Alpha Index to Full Glossary:

# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ Beauty and the Beast... and Typography

Typography -- good or bad -- isn't all about the fonts. Without changing the specific fonts, what other typography changes could improve this image?

Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com Gutenberg Bible

Close up of an illuminated portion of one of the pages of a Gutenberg Bible printed on paper.


The design and use of typefaces as a means of visual communication from calligraphy to the ever-developing use of digital type is the broad use of the term typography. However, the art and practice of typography began with the invention of moveable type and the printing press. Typography is sometimes seen as encompassing many separate fields from the type designer who creates letterforms to the graphic designer who selects typefaces and arranges them on the page.

In general usage typography is the practical and artistic arrangement of type and printing with type.

Typography In Depth

  •  Understanding how typefaces evolved and the people who made it happen can enhance our understanding of how to use type appropriately and how to choose the right typefaces for a design project. Look back on the History of Typography.


  • There are specific tried and true methods of using type in desktop publishing to accomplish the designer's goals. Explore these Practical Typography Tutorials including choosing fonts, composing text, using special characters, and creative typography.


  • Do you want to make your own fonts? Try out these Font Design Techniques.


Also Known As: type design | typesetting

Common Misspellings: typegraphy | typeography

Examples: "The history of typography generally begins with Gutenberg and the development of moveable type, but it has its roots in handwritten letterforms — whether transcribed with pen and ink or chiseled in stone — for they are the basis of type designs."

"Typography in graphic design involves the selection of appropriate typefaces and their arrangement on the page."

Explore more Typography Quotations as well as quotes about Type Design

Terms Related to Typography

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