Typography Quotes

Quotes tagged as "typography" Showing 1-30 of 33
Robert Bringhurst
“Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style

Robert Bringhurst
“In a badly designed book, the letters mill and stand like starving horses in a field. In a book designed by rote, they sit like stale bread and mutton on the page. In a well-made book, where designer, compositor and printer have all done their jobs, no matter how many thousands of lines and pages, the letters are alive. They dance in their seats. Sometimes they rise and dance in the margins and aisles.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style

Matthew Carter
“Type is a beautiful group of letters, not a group of beautiful letters.”
Matthew Carter

H.G. Wells
“Figures are the most shocking things in the world. The prettiest little squiggles of black looked at in the right light and yet consider the blow they can give you upon the heart.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly

Tristan Tzara
“Every page should explode, either because of its staggering absurdity, the enthusiasm of its principles, or its typography.”
Tristan Tzara, Manifesti del dadaismo

“You can say, "I love you," in Helvetica. And you can say it with Helvetica Extra Light if you want to be really fancy. Or you can say it with the Extra Bold if it's really intensive and passionate, you know, and it might work.”
Massimo Vignelli

Robert Bringhurst
“A man who would letterspace lower case would steal sheep, Frederic Goudy liked to say. If this wisdom needs updating, it is chiefly to add that a woman who would letterspace lower case would steal sheep as well .”
Robert Bringhurst

Ellen Lupton
“Readers usually ignore the typographic interface, gliding comfortably along literacy’s habitual groove. Sometimes, however, the interface should be allowed to fail. By making itself evident, typography can illuminate the construction and identity of a page, screen, place, or product.”
Ellen Lupton, Thinking with Type

Neil Postman
“Exposition is a mode of thought, a method of learning, and a means of expression. Almost all of the characteristics we associate with mature discourse were amplified by typography, which has the strongest possible bias toward exposition: a sophisticated ability to think conceptually, deductively and sequentially; a high valuation of reason and order; an abhorrence of contradiction; a large capacity for detachment and objectivity; and a tolerance for delayed response.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Steven Heller
“Typefaces are to the written word what different dialects are to different languages.”
Steven Heller

Neil Postman
“The line-by-line, sequential, continuous form of the printed page slowly began to lose its resonance as a metaphor of how knowledge was to be acquired and how the world was to be understood. "Knowing" the facts took on a new meaning, for it did not imply that one understood implications, background, or connections. Telegraphic discourse permitted no time for historical perspectives and gave no priority to the qualitative. To the telegraph, intelligence meant knowing of lots of things, not knowing about them.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

“When typography is on point, words become images.”
Shawn Lukas

Neil Postman
“We may say then that the contribution of the telegraph to public discourse was to dignify irrelevance and amplify impotence. But this was not all: Telegraphy also made public discourse essentially incoherent. It brought into being a world of broken time and broken attention, to use Lewis Mumford's phrase. The principle strength of the telegraph was its capacity to move information, not collect it, explain it or analyze it. In this respect, telegraphy was the exact opposite of typography.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Ellen Lupton
“Designers provide ways into—and out of—the flood of words by breaking up text into pieces and offering shortcuts and alternate routes through masses of information. (...) Although many books define the purpose of typography as enhancing the readability of the written word, one of design’s most humane functions is, in actuality, to help readers avoid reading.”
Ellen Lupton, Thinking with Type

“What makes Helvetica more beautiful is the word "Helvetica" as a logotype in its typeface. It just makes the rest of the alphabets effective.”
Shawn Lukas

Gerard Unger
“One of my colleagues is convinced that having a wide range of types to choose from is a complete waste of time. He swears by two typefaces: Gill (1928) and Frutiger (1975), which he uses for road signs (among other things). (...) [U]ntil 1975, the year in which Adrian Frutiger's eponymous typeface came onto the market, my colleague could only have made half of his selection. It seems to me that this proves the case for continuing to design new typefaces.”
Gerard Unger, While You're Reading

Douglas R. Hofstadter
“I am a lifelong lover of form–content interplay, and this book is no exception. As with several of my previous books, I have had the chance to typeset it down to the finest level of detail, and my quest for visual elegance on each page has had countless repercussions on how I phrase my ideas. To some this may sound like the tail wagging the dog, but I think that attention to form improves anyone’s writing. I hope that reading this book not only is stimulating intellectually but also is a pleasant visual experience.”
Douglas Hofstadter

“Typography is the use of type to advocate, communicate, celebrate, edu- cate, elaborate, illuminate, and disseminate. Along the way, the words and pages become art.”
James Felici, The Complete Manual of Typography

“Helvetica is good for typographers who do not know what to say.”
Thomas Bohm

Robert Bringhurst
“Typography must often draw attention to itself before it will be read. Yet in order to be read, it must relinquish the attention it has drawn.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style

Gerard Unger
“Una y otra vez, los lectores se han condicionado mutuamente.”
Gerard Unger, ¿Qué ocurre mientras lees?: Tipografía y legibilidad

Stefan Themerson
“A page of a book is like a human face. Look at a page by Hemingway and compare it with Sterne and Marcel Proust. They are different typographical beings. But force upon them those ragged edges, and the influence of the author’s style on the physical aspect of the page, their typographical physiognomy will disappear. No, unjustified setting is a sort of gleichschaltung [enforced conformity] through diversity, a very phoney diversity. Produced methodically by chance. For the comfort of the keyboard, and not for the comfort of the eye.”
Stefan Themerson

Stanley Morison
“For a new fount to be successful it has to be so good that only very few recognize its novelty.”
Stanley Morison

“Typography is two-dimensional architecture, based on experience and imagination, and guided by rules and readability.”
Hermann Zapf

Robert Bringhurst
“Logograms pose a more difficult question. An increasing number of persons and institutions, from archy and mehitabel to PostScript and TrueType, come to the typographer in search of special treatment.In earlier days it was kings and deities whose agents demanded that their names be written in a larger size or set in a specially ornate typeface; not it is business firms and mass-market products demanding an extra helping of capitals, or a proprietary face, and poets pleading, by contrast, to be left entirely in the vernacular lower case. But type is visible speech, in which gods and men, saints and sinners, poets and business executives are treated fundamentally alike . Typographers, in keeping with the virtue of their trade, honor the stewardship of texts and implicitly oppose private ownership of words.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style

Steven Heller
“However, [Edmund G. Gress] wrote, " we must not simplify to such an extent that life and movement are gone. That is where those persons go wrong who claim that type was made to read, and nothing else matters but the setting up of a paragraph in a legible type so that it can be easily read. We do not read everything that appears in print, but do read that which appears interesting.”
Steven Heller, Streamline: American Art Deco

Robert Bringhurst
“Type designers are, at their best, the Stradivarii of literature: not merely makers of salable products, but artists who design and make the instruments that other artists use.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style

Robert Bringhurst
“Accidental associations are rarely a good basis for choosing a typeface. Books of poems by the twentieth-century Jewish American poet Marvin Bell, for example, have sometimes been set in Bell type -which is eighteenth-century, English and Presbyterian - solely because of the name. Such puns are a private amusement for typographers; they also sometimes work. But a typographic page so well designed that it attains a life of its own will be based on real affinities, not on an inside joke.

Letterforms have character, spirit and personality. Typographers learn to discern these features through years of working first-hand with the forms, and through studying and comparing the work of other designers, present and past. On close inspection, typefaces reveal many hints of their designers' times and temperaments, and even their nationalities and religious faiths. Faces chosen on these grounds are likely to give more interesting results than faces chosen through mere convenience of availability or coincidence of name.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style

Robert Bringhurst
“Typography like other arts, from cooking to choreography, involves a balance between the familiar and the unfamiliar, the dependably consistent and the unforeseen. Typographers generally take pleasure in the unpredictable length of the paragraph while accepting the simple and reassuring consistency of the paragraph indent. The prose paragraph and its verse counterpart, the stanza, are basic units of linguistic thought and literary style. The typographer must articulate them enough to make them clear, yet not so strongly that the form instead of the content steals the show. If the units of thought, or the boundaries between thoughts, look more important than the thoughts themselves, the typographer has failed.”
Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style

“IS GOD THE NEGATIVE SPACE IN THE UNIVERSE?
THE DESIGN OF THE UNIVERSE USED A LOT OF NEGATIVE SPACE”
Vineet Raj Kapoor

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