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Influence of Technology

Influence of Technology

Description:

In this lesson you will learn to be able to recognize the impact of technology on the history of type.

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Tutorial

Video Transcription

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Hi, everyone. My name is Mario. I'd like to welcome you to today's lesson on influence of technology. So for today's lesson, we're going to learn to recognize the impact of technology on the history of time. As always, throughout the lesson feel free to stop, fast-forward, and rewind at your own pace. And when you're ready to go, let's get started.

We're going to travel through time a bit here and see how technology has influenced type, and type's development over time. You can see here some early methods of print were using incised or carved wood, where ink was later applied and then paper would be pressed onto it or the other way around. And it's similar to stamps, really. Here's an example of what that might have looked like. It's actually quite cool. It's a lot of work, but it is quite the craft. So, pretty neat.

We'll move into calligraphy here. This is a completely different language, but nonetheless, it's handwritten type. Here's another example of that. It's such an art. It's very beautiful to see calligraphy across languages. Here's something closer to what we might have seen in past lessons. This is calligraphy from a Latin bible.

Now, as we progress through time, a man by the name of Johannes Gutenberg-- a German jeweler and printer-- invented the printing press and printed the first book in 1456. To the right of him, you can see an old printing press. And this used movable type as you can see here, and you'd arrange these blocks of letters. And then, you'd basically press it-- hence the name, letterpress-- onto paper or what have you on the books. So, amazing isn't it? I can't even imagine trying to write a school paper in that method. I would just go insane. Here's an example of a book through letterpress.

Now, as we get closer and closer to the digital age, we find ourselves with typewriters. My parents used to have one of these, and I was always fascinated by it. It might be a bit hard to see here, but each key has a letter assigned to it. And when you press it, it swings this lever with the corresponding character and it inks that onto the page. You get something that looks like this.

Typewriters had a mono-spaced type, which is a non-proportional typeface, so each character takes up the same amount of space-- as opposed to proportional-type spacing, where you have letter spacing that compensates for the shape of each character. So if you compare a typewritten page with a digital one, you'd notice the difference in line spacing. Because, again, each character took up the same amount of space, regardless of the shape of that character.

Then, we've made it to the age of computers-- and dear God, look at that. That says the CRTronic 360. The original 360. Really, this is called a photo-type setting. And it would project light through a film negative of an image of an individual character, and then basically, all the photographic paper collects in a spool. And it's light tight, so light doesn't get into it. Then, it would be processed in a machine with chemicals, so it's kind of like the old way of developing photographs. It's still amazing nonetheless. Here's another view of a similar machine. We've come quite a long way.

So then, we get even closer to the printers we're accustomed to seeing. This is a dot matrix printer-- and boy, I remember these, too. You can see why it's called a dot matrix printer. It's getting closer, but not quite to the quality or resolution we're used to, using all those dots. But just then, laser printers-- and the laser printer was invented at Xerox in the late 1960s, and we still have these in use today. This really brought fast, high-quality printing to the professional and consumer market. No other printer available at the time could offer such a combination of features, and guess how much something like this cost, even in the '80s? $3,500. Pretty ridiculous, right?

Now, we get to our inkjet printers. And most of us are familiar with these, and if you recall from our past lessons, this is using CMYK subtractive color process. So it's mixing inks to produce our text and images. So you can really see that type has gone through many changes, and not only the different ways of producing type, but type itself as well.

Modern typefaces now come as digital font files and come preloaded on computers, phones, and other devices. The three most popular font formats are open type, true type, and postscript type 1. And open type is the most recent font file format and was developed by Adobe Systems, and could be used on both Windows and Macintosh computer systems. It uses the file extension OTF.

True type is a font file format developed by Microsoft, and it comes in both Windows and Mac versions-- and it uses the file extension TTF. Finally, postscript type 1 is another file format developed by Adobe, and it consists of two files. That uses the file extension PS. You can see on the right hand side a list of fonts-- some of which came preloaded on my laptop, and others that I downloaded on various font sites.

This screenshot is handy because, in addition to the font names and samples of what it looks like visually, it also tells you if a font is true type or open type. and that's indicated by the blue TT icon, or the kind of black- and teal-looking O icon to the left of each one. Here's a screenshot of my own laptop. And you can see all the fonts that I have here, and they're either OTF, TT or PS extension. And it looks like, for the most part, I have open type fonts and true type. Not so much postscript.

You can also see the icons give you a visual sample of what the font might look like, but it's good to know that a publisher of the font has control over the look of that icon. So for all I know, that could be an image of scrolls or something instead of the type, and I just wouldn't know.

Well everyone, that ends our lesson for today. We'll conclude with our key terms-- Johannes Gutenberg, movable type, mono-space type, proportional type spacing, open type, true type, and postscript type 1. I hope you've enjoyed this lesson with me today. My name is Mario, and I will see you next lesson.

Notes on "Influence of Technology"

Terms to Know


Johannes Gutenburg
German jeweler and printer, invented the printing press and printed the first book in 1456.

 

Movable Type
a component of Gutenberg's press, individual high relief characters each on their own metal block.

 

Monospaced Type
a non-proportional typeface; each character takes up the same amount of space.

 

Proportional Type Spacing
letterspacing that compensates for the shape of each character.

 

Open Type
The most recent font file format; OpenType was developed by Adobe Systems and can be used on both Windows and Macintosh computer systems. File extension: .otf.

 

True Type
A font file format developed by Microsoft. True Type comes in both Windows and Macintosh versions. File extension: .ttf.

 

Postscript Type 1
A font file format developed by Adobe. Postscript fonts consist of 2 files. File extension: .ps.

 

 

 

Citations
Image of Wood Block, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yangzhou_Museum_-_woodblock_for_printing_-_CIMG2878.JPG
Image of Pen ts'ao Book, Public Domain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pen_ts%27ao,_woodblock_book_1249-ce.png
Image of Andalus Quran, Public Domain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AndalusQuran.JPG
Image of Mi Fu Calligraphy, Public Domain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mi_Fu-On_Calligraphy.jpg
Image of Latin Bible Calligraphy, Public Domain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Calligraphy.malmesbury.bible.arp.jpg
Image of Printing Press, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Handtiegelpresse_von_1811.jpg
Image of Movable Type, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Metal_movable_type.jpg
Image of Johannes Gutenber, Public Domain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gutenberg.jpg
Image of Gutenburg Bible, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gutenberg_Bible,_Lenox_Copy,_New_York_Public_Library,_2009._Pic_01.jpg
Image of Hermes Typewriter, Public Domain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TypewriterHermes.jpg
Image of Typewriter Conventions, Public Domain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Typerwriter_conventions_text_example.gif
Image Linotype CRTronic 360, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Linotype_CRTronic_360.jpg
Image of Berthold Units, Public Domain
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Berthold_photosetting_units_tps%2Btpu.jpg
Image of Epson Dot Matrix Printer, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Epson_MX-80.jpg
Image of Dot Matrix Zoom, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dot_matrix_example_text.png
Image of Laser Printer, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hp_laserjet_4200dtns.jpg
Image of Sharp Thermal Printer, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sharp_CE-126P.jpg
Image of Thermal Printed Receipt, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:No_phenol_cash_receipt.JPG
Image of Epson Printer, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Epson-inkjet-printer.jpg
Image of Print Cartridges, Creative Commons
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Canon_S520_ink_jet_printer_-_opened.jpg

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Postscript Type 1

    A font file format developed by Adobe. Postscript fonts consist of 2 files. File extension: .ps.

  • True Type

    A font file format developed by Microsoft. True Type comes in both Windows and Macintosh versions. File extension: .ttf.

  • Open Type

    The most recent font file format; OpenType was developed by Adobe Systems and can be used on both Windows and Macintosh computer systems. File extension: .otf.
 

  • Proportional Type Spacing

    Letter spacing that compensates for the shape of each character.

  • Monospaced Type

    A non-proportional typeface; each character takes up the same amount of space.
 

  • Movable Type

    A component of Gutenberg's press, individual high relief characters each on their own metal block.

  • Johannes Gutenburg

    German jeweler and printer, invented the printing press and printed the first book in 1456.