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Quotations about Fonts,
Typeface, Typography, etc.


Related Quotes      Writing      Typewriters      Computers      Art      Appearance


I'm a sucker for a good font. ~The Middle, "The 100th," 2013, written by David S. Rosenthal, spoken by the character Brick Heck


When typography is on point, words become images. ~Shawn Lukas


Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form. ~Robert Bringhurst


In a badly designed book, the letters mill and stand like starving horses in a field. ~Robert Bringhurst


I am a lifelong lover of form—content interplay, and this book is no exception. As with several of my previous books, I have had the chance to typeset it down to the finest level of detail, and my quest for visual elegance on each page has had countless repercussions on how I phrase my ideas. To some this may sound like the tail wagging the dog, but I think that attention to form improves anyone's writing. I hope that reading this book not only is stimulating intellectually but also is a pleasant visual experience. ~Douglas R. Hofstadter  [Yes, indeed, sir! I can't stand it when my beautiful typographical choices in my blog are rendered null and void and downright ugly when it converts itself to mobile-friendly! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


I'm a great lover of visual art and I will happily discuss the color and texture of Van Gogh's Starry Night.... But I can think of nothing on earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night, which, for me, was ten to fifteen pounds of candy, a riot of colored wrappers and hopeful fonts, snub-nosed chocolate bars and SweeTARTS, the seductive rattle of Jujyfruits and Good & Plenty and lollipop sticks all akimbo, the foil ends of mini LifeSavers packs twinkling like dimes, and a thick sugary perfume rising up from the pillowcase. ~Steve Almond, "Night of the Living Freak," Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America, 2004


      A font of type is a complete collection, with a proper apportionment to each character, of the mated types required for an ordinary text. The letters are in unequal request: 'a' and 'e' appear repeatedly in long sentences; 'z' and 'q' may not be found in a page. The type-founder tries to supply each character in proportion to its frequency of use, so that the printer shall have enough of every and not too much of any character.
      The written or printed summery of the proper quantity of types for each character is known in the United States as a scheme, and in Great Britain as a bill, for type.... The apportionment of characters is necessarily varied for different languages.... The scheme is not, and cannot be, nicely adapted to every kind of literary composition in English. For poetry there must be a large excess of quadrats; for the personal narrative, an excess of I; for tables or statistics, an excess of figures; &c.
      An exasperating thing that occurs in the daily life of a job compositor is to find when he has hit upon a good style of type for a display line that there is one letter short. After a muttered imprecation, he generally begins the time-wasting process of hunting through neighboring boxes; failing in his search here, he usually goes through the dead boards, and then the live forms. Finally, after an unavailing search of perhaps ten or fifteen minutes, he pitches the line back in the case and tries some other font. And it is hardly necessary to add that the change is made to the detriment of the display.
      ~Theodore Low de Vinne, "A Font of Type," The Practice of Typography, 1899 (first two paragraphs) and "Some Useful Hints," The American Bookmaker: A Journal of Technical Art and Information for Printers, Book Binders & Publishers, March 1896 (third paragraph)  [Yep, it's a mash-up quotation; I thought the two went well together. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


The character of typography is not pressing and printing, but mobilization. The winged A is its symbol. The elements unchained, the letters freed from every bond in which the pen or chisel of calligrapher or xylographer held them entangled; the cut character risen from the tomb of the solitary tablet into the substantive life of the cast types — that is the invention of printing. ~"Invention of Typography," The Inland Printer, January 1898


Geometry can produce legible letters, but art alone makes them beautiful. Art begins where geometry ends, and imparts to letters a character transcending mere measurement. ~Paul Standard, quoted in Basic Typography by John R. Biggs, 1968


There is only one way of damaging type more destructive than shaking the cases, and that is to unmercifully hammer the face of a form with a heavy mallet and hard planer. If any printer has a font of script he doesn't want his customers to require him to use, let him try this plan of shaking the case containing it and mark the result. The delicate lines will have such a scratched and broken appearance after a few operations that he will soon be compelled to dump the font into the hell box.... The fine serifs are soon broken off, and the dotless i becomes more and more frequent until the font has to be replenished. ~"Some Useful Hints," The American Bookmaker: A Journal of Technical Art and Information for Printers, Book Binders & Publishers, March 1896


A type has at last been made which absolutely imitates the "fabric" effect of the typewriter ribbon. We wonder some one didn't think of it before. Every printer can now have a font of this patented type and print typewriter circulars in unlimited quantities direct from the type-face, on an ordinary printing press, without manipulation—the type alone does it all. You should see a sample of this work. The Typewriter-Type Company, of Boston, are the makers. ~"Review of Specimens: At Last! At Last!" The American Printer & Bookmaker, January 1900



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