Typography Monographs Vol. 2
Size-specific Adjustments to Type Designs: An Investigation of the Principles Guiding the Design of Optical Sizes
Tim Ahrens, MA
- Page Count: 174
- Size: 7 x 10
- Format: Casebound
- Publication Date: April 2009
- Price: $65
- ISBN: 978-0-9817805-4-2
Type designs in history have had significantly different designs in smaller point sizes than that of the larger sizes – a feature which has hardly been carried over to digital type as it is used today, where all sizes can be scaled from a single master. Why were the various point sizes so different in their attributes?
Tim Ahrens, who studied architecture at the University of Karlsruhe and prepared this paper as part of his Master’s Degree in Typeface Design at the University of Reading, examines the history of optical sizing in typeface designs, and identifies the principles that lie behind this complex mix of art and science. As he notes early in the paper, his focus is “more on the qualities and not so much on the quantities of the optical adjustments. The essay is addressed to designers that have a certain experience and skill in typeface design so one can expect them to choose the right degree of modification once they are sensitised to the issues.”
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