Beginning in the 9th century BC, adaptations of the Phoenician alphabet thrived, including Greek, Old Italic, Anatolian, and the Paleohispanic scripts. The alphabet’s attractive innovation was its phonetic nature, in which one sound was represented by one symbol, which meant only a few dozen symbols to learn. The other scripts of the time, cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs, employed many complex characters and required long professional training to achieve proficiency.
Another reason for its success was the maritime trading culture of Phoenician merchants, which spread the alphabet into parts of North Africa and Southern Europe. Phoenician inscriptions have been found in archaeological sites at a number of former Phoenician cities and colonies around the Mediterranean, such as Byblos (in present-day Lebanon) and Carthage in North Africa. Later finds indicate earlier use in Egypt.
The alphabet had long-term effects on the social structures of the civilizations that came in contact with it. Its simplicity not only allowed its easy adaptation to multiple languages, but it also allowed the common people to learn how to write. This upset the long-standing status of literacy as an exclusive achievement of royal and religious elites, scribes who used their monopoly on information to control the common population. The appearance of Phoenician disintegrated many of these class divisions, although many Middle Eastern kingdoms, such as Assyria, Babylonia and Adiabene, would continue to use cuneiform for legal and liturgical matters well into the Common Era.
German inventor Johannes Gutenberg developed a method of movable type and used it to create one of the Western world’s first major printed books, the “Forty-Two-Line” Bible.
Process – link to Gutenberg process of printing.
Claude Garamond –
Claude Garamond – born c. 1480 in Paris, France, died 1561 in Paris, France – type founder, publisher, punch cutter, type designer.
Giabattista Bodoni –
Giabattista Bodoni – born 16. 2. 1740 in Saluzzo, Piedmont, Italy, died 30. 11. 1813 in Parma, Italy – engraver, type designer, typographer, printer, publisher.
Frederic Goudy –
Frederic William Goudy – born 8. 3. 1865 in Bloomington, USA, died 11. 5. 1947 in Malborough-on-Hudson, USA – type designer, typographer, publisher, teacher.
Type Classifications – List of fonts and typeface classes and samples.
Early Typographers –
The years between the mid-15th century and the early 18th century proved to be a time of many changes and developments in the world of typography. Great examples of diverse type and type history.
Hermann Zapf –
German designer Hermann Zapf created the following fonts:
Aldus® (1954), Aldus Nova (2005), Aurelia™ (1983), Comenius® Antiqua BQ (1976), Edison™ (1978), Kompakt™ (1954), Marconi®(1976), Medici® Script (1971), Melior® (1952), Noris Script® (1976),Optima® (1958), Optima nova (2002), Orion™ (1974), Palatino™®(1950), Palatino nova (2005), Palatino™ Sans (2006), Saphir™ (1953),Sistina® (1950), Vario™ (1982), Venture™ (1969), Virtuosa® Classic(2009), Linotype Zapf Essentials™ (2002), Zapfino® (1998), Zapfino Extra (2003), ITC Zapf Chancery® (1979) ITC Zapf International® (1976),ITC Zapf Book® (1976), Zapf Renaissance Antiqua™ (1984–1987), ITC Zapf Dingbats® (1978).
Pioneers of the Internet –
The Internet wasn’t just designed by one person or one team at one time. As more and more people peeled back the frontiers of information technology, they contributed to the understanding and development of what we all now take for granted. The Internet is here to stay, but there were times when it was a fragile thing that only a few people could envision. The following people are visionaries, inventors, researchers and programmers who, in the early days of the internet, dreamed big and pioneered the technologies and programs behind all the standard Internet operating tools of today.