Choosing fonts is an important part of graphic design. Understanding some of the history of graphic design and fonts can help you achieve interesting text effects in your designs.

Knowing the history behind various typefaces and why they were originally used can be a graphic design education in and of itself. If you how typefaces were originally used, choosing fonts is an art form that not only builds on the past successes but will make your project stand out in today’s world.

  • At the beginning of the computer age, typefaces needed to be machine-readable, and in 1966, OCR-A was adopted as the standard.
  • For those of us who can’t imagine getting hints about what’s going on inside a computer or interacting with it directly, it might seem incredible that computers originally didn’t have monitors. But when monitors became standard, a typeface that actually looked readable on-screen was necessary. Hence New Alphabet, designed to avoid the traditional curves of the traditional alphabet.
  • Reinventing classic typeface designs is another way of producing modern fonts: ITC Galliard is a reinvention of a 16th-century French typeface designed by Robert Granjon.
  • HTF Didot, designed in 1991 by Jonathan Hoefler, was commissioned specifically for Harper’s Bazaar magazine as a throwback to the magazine’s style in the 1930s to 1950s. […]