#103 Long & Short

103 Long & Short
#103 LONG & SHORT
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In a nutshell
The gist
Summing it up
The long & short of it

I’m sure schol­ars of the Eng­lish lan­guage have writ­ten lengthy essays on the ori­gin & evo­lu­tion of the phrase “the long & short of it” but here, sim­ply, is the long & short of it:

This expres­sion, orig­i­nal­ly stat­ed as “the short & long of it,” dates from about 1500; lat­er “the long & short of it” was estab­lished by the end of the 1600s. It is also stat­ed “the long & the short of it.”

Source: The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary

The long & short & condensed & italic

Amper­Art #103, Long & Short, fea­tures typog­ra­phy set in just one type fam­i­ly, Bodoni, but with many styles. It is a beau­ti­ful & ver­sa­tile type­style, hav­ing many vari­a­tions designed by sev­er­al foundries over the years. This piece has pur­pose­ly been set with fonts from four dif­fer­ent foundries.* (See type ter­mi­nol­o­gy below.) 

Demon­strat­ing just how ver­sa­tile Bodoni is — how one type fam­i­ly can ren­der so many per­son­al­i­ties — Long & Short was set as fol­lows, indi­cat­ing style (fol­lowed by design­er or foundry):

103 Long & Shortthe, of it set in Bodoni Con­densed Ital­ic (Berthold)

LONG set in Bodoni Poster Com­pressed (Adobe)

SHORT set in Bodoni Black (Bauer)

& set in Bodoni Old­face Ital­ic (Berthold)

 

When type is set to resem­ble the mean­ing of the words, it is called a typogram. Parts of this Amper­Art piece fit that descrip­tion: the words “long” & “short.” Oth­er exam­ples are “addddi­tion” and “scrma­beld.”

Bodoni, typographer

1818 Manuale-Tipografico, Bodoni
The 1818 Manuale-​Tipografico spec­i­men man­u­al of Bodoni’s press, pub­lished after his death.

Bodoni is the name giv­en to the serif type­faces first designed by Giambat­tista Bodoni (1740 – 1813) in the late eigh­teenth cen­tu­ry & fre­quent­ly revived since. Bodoni’s type­faces are clas­si­fied as Didone or mod­ern. Bodoni had a long career & his designs changed & var­ied, end­ing with a type­face of a slight­ly con­densed under­ly­ing struc­ture with flat, unbrack­et­ed ser­ifs, extreme con­trast between thick & thin strokes, & an over­all geo­met­ric con­struc­tion.

When first released, Bodoni & oth­er didone fonts were called clas­si­cal designs because of their ratio­nal struc­ture. Bodoni’s lat­er designs are right­ful­ly called “mod­ern” but the ear­li­er designs are now called “tran­si­tion­al.”

In the English-​speaking world, “mod­ern” serif designs like Bodoni are most com­mon­ly used in head­ings & dis­play uses & in upmar­ket mag­a­zine print­ing, which is often done on high-​gloss paper that retains & sets off the crisp detail of the fine strokes. In Europe, they are more often used in body text.

Bodoni, printer

Bodoni page decorations
Proofs of page dec­o­ra­tions from the Bodoni print­ing house

Although to a mod­ern audi­ence Bodoni is best known as the name of a type­face, Bodoni was an expert print­er who ran a pres­ti­gious print­ing office under the patron­age of the Duke of Par­ma, & the design of his type was per­mit­ted by & show­cased the qual­i­ty of his com­pa­ny’s work in metal-​casting, print­ing & of the paper made in Par­ma.

Writ­ing of meet­ing him in the year 1786, James Edward Smith, Eng­lish botanist and founder of the Lin­nean Soci­ety, said:

A very great curios­i­ty in its way is the Par­ma print­ing office, car­ried on under the direc­tion of Mr. Bodoni, who has brought that art to a degree of per­fec­tion scarce­ly known before him. Noth­ing could exceed his civil­i­ty in show­ing us num­bers of the beau­ti­ful pro­duc­tions of his press…as well as the oper­a­tions of cast­ing & fin­ish­ing the letters…his paper is all made at Par­ma. The man­ner in which Mr. Bodoni gives his works their beau­ti­ful smooth­ness, so that no impres­sion of the let­ters is per­cep­ti­ble on either side, is the only part of his busi­ness that he keeps secret.

Dazzle (not what you think)

The effec­tive use of Bodoni in mod­ern print­ing pos­es chal­lenges com­mon to all Didone designs. While it can look very ele­gant due to the reg­u­lar, ratio­nal design & fine strokes, a known effect on read­ers is “daz­zle,” where the thick ver­ti­cals draw the read­er’s atten­tion & cause them to strug­gle to con­cen­trate on the oth­er, much thin­ner strokes that define which let­ter is which. For this rea­son, using the right opti­cal size of font has been described as par­tic­u­lar­ly essen­tial to achieve pro­fes­sion­al results. 

[And for oth­er rea­sons as well, fine typog­ra­phy should be entrust­ed to a pro­fes­sion­al design­er. Yeah, that would be me. —Chaz]

Bodoni, busy

Bodoni has been used for a wide vari­ety of mate­r­i­al, rang­ing from 18th cen­tu­ry Ital­ian books to 1960s peri­od­i­cals. In the 21st cen­tu­ry, the late man­ner ver­sions con­tin­ue to be used in adver­tis­ing, while the ear­ly man­ner ver­sions are occa­sion­al­ly used for fine book print­ing.

  • Poster Bodoni is used in Mam­ma Mia! posters.
  • Bodoni is one of the two type­sets that is used by Hilton Hotels for restau­rant or bar menu con­tent.
  • Sony’s Colum­bia Records (owned by CBS from 1938 to 1989) also uti­lizes Bodoni for their word­mark.
  • Nir­vana’s logo is writ­ten with Bodoni (specif­i­cal­ly Bodoni Poster-​Compressed).
  • Bauer Bodoni Black is used for Carnegie Mel­lon Uni­ver­si­ty’s word­mark.
  • Bauer Bodoni Roman is used for Bran­deis Uni­ver­si­ty’s word­mark.
  • Tom Clan­cy used Bodoni font for the art­work of all his affil­i­at­ed works until his nov­el Dead or Alive.
  • A vari­a­tion of Bodoni called “Pos­toni” is the pri­ma­ry head­line font for The Wash­ing­ton Post news­pa­per.
  • Bodoni was the favorite type­set of Ted Hugh­es, UK Poet Lau­re­ate, 1984 – 1998.
  • Roman Bauer Bodoni is used in Slow Food’s logo­type.
  • Bodoni has been used in Mani­la Bul­letin’s head­line text until the ear­ly 2000s.
  • Bodoni is used for the Eng­lish trans­la­tion of the logo for the Ghost in The Shell series.
  • Bodoni is used for the cur­rent logo of Time Warn­er.
  • Bodoni is used in THX’s ear­ly trail­ers like Broad­way & Cimar­ron.
  • The logo for the Cana­di­an teen dra­ma series Ready or Not is in Bodoni Poster-​Compressed.
  • Book cov­ers by Chaz DeS­i­mone for Piano Pron­to (see next head­line).
Source: Wikipedia

Bodoni by Desimone for Piano Pronto

A few years ago I was com­mis­sioned by Jen­nifer Eklund, a charm­ing client, to design her Piano Pron­to logo & piano instruc­tion books. Tal­ent­ed in her own right as a pianist & pub­lish­er, Jen­nifer also has a keen sense of design & visu­al style. She fell in love with the type­face Bodoni when I pre­sent­ed it as a com­ple­ment to her logo­type and as the main title font for her books. The front and back cov­ers of her Primer are shown here. Two fonts are used for the cov­er, one being Bodoni Black. The back text is pri­mar­i­ly Bodoni, show­cas­ing bold, reg­u­lar and ital­ic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have ever wanted to learn piano, Jennifer’s course is one you’ll really enjoy. It features“accelerated learning for all ages & all stages.” See all her piano instruction books and listen to some beautiful piano music at her website, pianopron​to​.com.

 

 

*Type terminology

Foundry” of course is usu­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with met­al works, & that’s exact­ly how type was pro­duced for the first cou­ple hun­dred years after move­able type was invent­ed by Guten­berg. The term “foundry” is still used to des­ig­nate a font pub­lish­er.

The term “font” used to mean some­thing very spe­cif­ic, not just a type­face. It was the pack­age of met­al type that was one type fam­i­ly (Bodoni, Gara­mond, Hel­veti­ca, etc.), one weight (reg­u­lar, light, book, bold, black), one style (roman — mean­ing upright, ital­ic, small caps, etc.), & one size (6, 8, 10, 60, 72 point). That was a sin­gle font; i.e. Hel­veti­ca | bold | ital­ic | extend­ed | 36pt.

Lead­ing” is the space between lines of text. In the days of hand-​set type & met­al linecast­ing machines, strips of met­al rang­ing from 14 point to 36 points (approx. 12 inch) or more were insert­ed between lines of type. (Any­thing thick­er was usu­al­ly spaced with wood blocks.) The met­al strips were actu­al­ly lead, & result­ed in lead poi­son­ing for many type­set­ters & print­ers.

Cut & paste,” one of the most famil­iar terms asso­ci­at­ed with com­put­ers, used to mean lit­er­al­ly cut the sheet of text, image or cli­part with an X‑acto blade & paste it in the lay­out with rub­ber cement or hot wax, to be pho­tographed by the cam­era for off­set platemak­ing. (& hold your breath to see if any­thing shift­ed around or fell off com­plete­ly as the print­ing emerges from the press.)

Please comment here.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at Des​i​moneDesign​.com, my com­mer­cial graph­ic design web­site. It’s most­ly about design, typog­ra­phy, print­ing, pub­lish­ing & mar­ket­ing, but on occa­sion I’ll divert to a side­ways top­ic that just can’t escape my rant­i­ng & rav­ing.


Production notes for #103 Long & Short:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font family: Bodoni
Ampersand: Bodoni Oldface Italic
Credits:
Reference text: Wikipedia (verbatim & edited)
Manuale-​Tipografico specimen: Wikipedia (public domain)
Proofs of page decorations: TypTS 825.18.225, Houghton Library, Harvard University (public domain)
You may repost the AmperArt image. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#72 Boldface & Italic…just like the Italic Tower of Pisa

AmperArt Boldface & Italic


#72 Boldface & Italic
Click to view full-​size or download hi-​rez image for gallery-​quality printing and framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

#72 Boldface & Italic is about the two most common text variations in publishing — both used too much & too wrong.

Some writ­ers — let’s call them over­em­pha­siz­ers—just can’t get enough bold­face & ital­ic. If they feel strong­ly about the point they’re mak­ing, they won’t hes­i­tate to run the whole para­graph in bold type. Don’t be one of these peo­ple. This habit wears down your read­ers’ reti­nas & their pa­tience. It also gives you nowhere to go when you need to em­pha­size a word. (See what I mean? Did­n’t you hate read­ing this para­graph set in bold­face — and now ital­ic?)

That’s no prob­lem for overem­pha­siz­ers, though, who re­sort to un­der­lin­ing bold text or us­ing bold ital­ic. These are both bad ideas.

(The two para­graphs above, set in bold­face & ital­ic, are from Butterick’s Prac­ti­cal Typog­ra­phy. It is so well-​stated — quite humor­ous­ly & sad­ly true — about overem­pha­siz­ers, many of whom I’ve encoun­tered as overzeal­ous clients, I could­n’t help but just reprint it near­ly ver­ba­tim. More from But­t­er­ick­’s below.)

Bold­face & ital­ic treat­ments are some­what inter­change­able, but they real­ly do each have their own fla­vor of empha­sis or char­ac­ter. Oth­er vari­a­tions for type are caps & small caps, but that’ll be the theme for anoth­er Amper­Art install­ment.

Text that is nei­ther bold nor ital­ic is called ro­man.

Roman? The Tow­er of Pisa seems to be ital­i­cized, doesn’t it? Oh — it’s in Pisa, not Rome.

Italic Tower of Pisa

Ital­ic Tow­er of Pisa


Where to use boldface & italic

Bold­face is great for sub­heads or any­where you need to attract the eye.

Ital­ics should be used for book titles, long poems, plays, tele­vi­sion shows and films, art­works & song titles; titles of news­pa­pers, jour­nals, mag­a­zines & radio series; names of ships & air­planes; spe­cif­ic edi­tions of sacred texts; legal cas­es.

For­eign words used in Eng­lish are some­times ital­i­cized, some­times not, de­pend­ing on how com­mon they are. For in­stance, you would ital­i­cize your zup­pa Toscana & sfogli­atelle, but not your lasagna & can­no­li.

But that’s not all.

The Frugal Editor

For a com­plete list on how to prop­er­ly apply bold­face & ital­ic, as well as a com­pre­hen­sive ref­er­ence for all oth­er edit­ing rules and tips, pick up a copy of Car­olyn Howard Johnson’s The Fru­gal Edi­tor, avail­able at Ama​zon​.com.

This book will save you hun­dreds of dol­lars in edit­ing fees — & thou­sands if you do your own edit­ing & you want to make sure every­thing is spot-​on per­fect before ink hits paper with­out any typos in the print­ed pub­li­ca­tions.

The Fru­gal Edi­tor is worth every fru­gal pen­ny you spend on it. The cov­er design is bril­liant, too.


2 rules for boldface & italic

Accord­ing to & para­phrased from Butterick’s Prac­ti­cal Typog­ra­phy (a free online guide):

Bold­face or ital­ic — al­ways think of them as mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive. That is the first rule. (So much for the title of this Amper­Art piece, Bold­face & Ital­ic.)

The sec­ond rule is to use bold­face & ital­ic as lit­tle as pos­si­ble. They are tools for em­pha­sis. But if every­thing is em­pha­sized, then noth­ing is em­pha­sized. Also, be­cause bold­face & ital­ic styles are de­signed to con­trast with reg­u­lar ro­man text, they’re some­what hard­er to read. Like ALL CAPS, bold­face & ital­ic are fine for short stretch­es of text, but not for long ones.

Some fonts have both a bold style and a semi­bold style. And some have styles that are heav­ier than bold, like black or ul­tra. These weights are usu­ally in­tended for large sizes (for in­stance, head­lines) and don’t work well at the size range of most body text.


Boldface & italic also means boldface & italic

For those of you who just can’t inject enough empha­sis into your ele­gant prose, there’s the oth­er mean­ing of bold­face & ital­ic:

Set the text in a font that is both bold­face & ital­ic, such as this.

But let’s not stop there.

HOW ABOUT SOME CAPS? LET’S NOT FORGET THE EXCLAMATION POINT! AND RED INK! WITH UNDERSCORE! & YELLOW HIGHLIGHT!

You might be exclaim­ing, “Add more excla­ma­tion points!” That’s where I draw the line. I nev­er use more than one. As soon as I see mul­ti­ple excla­ma­tion points after a sen­tence I auto­mat­i­cal­ly place the writer in ama­teur league. If a piece is writ­ten well, you don’t need any. Bill Bern­bach, whose agency cre­at­ed the inno­v­a­tive VW ads in in the ’60s, nev­er used an excla­ma­tion point. Best head­line ever:

lemon

An excla­ma­tion point is like a sym­bol crash. Are two or three (or five or six, you scream­ers) more effec­tive? No. They dimin­ish the punch. Just one.


Suggesting boldface & italic the old-​fashioned way

In the days of type­writ­ers, empha­sis was achieved in sev­er­al ways, the most com­mon under­lin­ing (you had to first type the words, then back­space and add the under­line). This rep­re­sent­ed bold­face & ital­ic for empha­sis, but always ital­ic for indi­cat­ing a book or film title. ALL CAPS was used to draw atten­tion, or to indi­cate head­ings and sub­heads. And bold­face achieved by actu­al­ly backspac­ing the car­riage and typ­ing the text over two or three times until it was bold. In “mod­ern” type­writ­ers there were inter­change­able balls and wheels that con­tained dif­fer­ent fonts, anoth­er means of achiev­ing bold­face & ital­ic.

And there was the two-​color rib­bon, red & black. That empha­sized more than bold­face & ital­ic com­bined!


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at Des​i​moneDesign​.com, my com­mer­cial graph­ic design web­site. It’s most­ly about design & typog­ra­phy — includ­ing plen­ty of bold­face & ital­ics.

Most arti­cles will cov­er var­i­ous aspects of design, print­ing, pub­lish­ing & mar­ket­ing, but on occa­sion I’ll divert to a side­ways top­ic that just can’t escape my rant­i­ng & rav­ing.