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ABC typography ID file

Name of the site : ABC typography
Online : Typefaces
Creation date: November 2000
Status : Online museum dedicated to typefaces and their history: “we should welcome typographic variety as the natural consequence of human creativity.”
Specificities: This channel of Planet typography is very popular. English version available.
Typo: Charter by Matthew Carter.


ABC typography: Verbatim

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The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
PittsburghFor the course "Design Team Production" of its Art Institute Online, the AIP features the site "ABC Typography A Virtual Museum of Typography". The content of the site is provided to the students as an introduction to typography.



Quo vadis: ABC typography

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If you think all Fonts are the same...

If you think all fonts are the same

If you are like many of us, you are undoubtedly familiar with the "standard" Windows fonts. You probably also understand the basic differences between serif and sans serif typefaces. Perhaps you have even gone so far as to create a few customized multimedia presentation templates - complete with selected fonts. But how do you know WHY Tahoma is such a great universal font or WHY Courier should be used sparingly? Fortunately, there is a wonderful online resource - abc typography - that helps answer these questions and more.
Created by Planet Typography, this site bills itself as a virtual museum of typography. This web site is a valuable resource for anyone who needs to create visual media. It contains history, samples, and possible uses for many common typefaces.

ABC Typography

The site is organized into four main sections, based upon typeface categorization. Sections include Classic, 20th Century, Modern, and Miscellaneous. Each section shows examples of the typefaces from the selected period in addition to adaptations of the particular typeface. For example, the Classic section reveals the following:

ABC Typography

We learn that Baskerville, Bembo, Bodoni, Cheltenham, Clarendon, and Garamond are all classic typefaces. By selecting Bembo, we learn more about this particular typeface:

ABC Typography

A short history of the typeface is provided, as well as the concept behind its design . . . "the Bembo is a readable and classical typeface because of its well-proportioned letterforms, functional serifs, and lack of peculiarities." Additionally, a comprehensive example of the typeface is also provided.

In the Modern section, we learn the history of Verdana — a very popular and effective typeface for multimedia presentations. "Verdana exhibits new characteristics derived from the pixel rather than the pen. The balance between straight, curve, and diagonal has been meticulously tuned to ensure that the pixel patterns are pleasing, clear, and legible."

ABC Typography

The site is a great tool even if the particular typeface you want to use is not listed. For example, if you were looking for a typeface popular in the 1960s, you may find your way to Optima, in the 20th Century section. Whether or not you could get your hands on Optima in the short term is relatively unimportant — you could learn why this typeface was popular in the 1960s and use a typeface that shares the same characteristics.

Finally, you can follow the links to the Planet Typography site that contains an online font center complete with shareware/freeware fonts for your use. You can download a font such as Ibarra, for example.

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