The History of Typography Told in Five Animated Minutes

Caslon, Baskerville, Hel­veti­ca… these names have graced many a pull down menu, but what do they sig­ni­fy, exact­ly?

Graph­ic design­er Ben Bar­rett-For­rest spent 140 hours ani­mat­ing the 291 paper let­ters on dis­play in the His­to­ry of Typog­ra­phy, an intro­duc­tion to the ways in which lan­guage has been expressed visu­al­ly over time.

From Guten­berg’s inky, monk-inspired Black­lis­ter font to the ever-con­tro­ver­sial Com­ic Sans, Bar­rett-For­rest employs stop motion to spell out the quan­tifi­able rea­sons that cer­tain ser­ifs and stroke types are easy on the eye. Let’s not tell the cre­ators of Lla­ma Font or Mr. Twig­gy, but leg­i­bil­i­ty is the moth­er of sur­vival in this are­na.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Font Based on Sig­mund Freud’s Hand­writ­ing Com­ing Cour­tesy of Suc­cess­ful Kick­starter Cam­paign

A Short Ani­mat­ed His­to­ry of the GIF

Ayun Hal­l­i­day has devot­ed the last 15 years to  pro­duc­ing The East Vil­lage Inky, an entire­ly hand­writ­ten zine whose aging read­ers com­plain that they can no long make out the tiny print.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.