Happy Tuesday! Today we take a look at Bodoni, a Modern serifed typeface. Though Bodoni no longer has the name recognition of Garamond and Helvetica, it gained immediate praise for its designer, helped to define a era and style of type design, and remains popular to this day. Its designer, Giambattista Bodoni, was a type designer, punchcutter, and printer, who took as his starting point the work of John Baskerville. Baskerville’s designs, as compared to his predecessors, displayed a marked contrast between thick and thin strokes. Here’s an example:
Bodoni studied Baskerville’s types, as well as the work of his French contemporaries, Firmin Didot and Pierre Simon Fournier, and began designing a series of faces that started with Baskerville’s increased stroke contrast and a more vertical, slightly condensed, upper case, but took them to a much more extreme conclusion.His designs evolved over his long career, becoming more extreme and stylized as time went on, developing into a typeface of narrower structure with flat, unbracketed serifs, extreme contrast between thick and thin strokes, and an overall geometric construction.
This is the Bodoni that has been has been used for a wide variety of material, ranging from 18th century Italian books to 1960s periodicals.Today they continue to be used in advertising, as well as occasionally for fine book printing. Bodoni’s designs, along with those of his contemporary Didot, became known as the Modern faces.
Join us next week for another exciting excursion into the wild world of type design. Have any stories about your favorite (or least favorite) typeface? Want to give us suggestions or comments? Comment on this post, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit us on Facebook (/centerforbookarts) or follow us on Twitter (@center4bookarts). Can’t wait to see you there!