Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Brought to you by the letter...

Today's letter is brought to you by the letter: J.
Bodoni MT, Black, lowercase j.

During my typography studies, it was a real a-ha! moment to learn that different weights of a type family were not just thicker strokes or slanted forms, but were in fact sometimes creations all their own. At that point, I thought it was not good enough to just know the letters of a type family in its normal/regular weight anymore. I had to spend time analyzing the different weights because they were in fact different shapes and deserved to be recognized as such. Suddenly the act of creating a type family with 11 variations truly awed me.

Such is the case with today's letter: MT Bodoni's lowercase 'j' in Black. It's a very handsome letter with its descender curling into itself rather than out. This was probably a good choice to avoid it looking too unbalanced. I particularly love how the thin contrasting stroke, common in Modern families, isn't actually a stroke, but rather is represented in the white space that separates the curl and the stem. A small touch of genius. I think it's quite a fine, fine letter.

This curling in also occur in MT Bodoni's 'f' and somewhat in the 'c'. As a result, none of these shapes look out of place within the Black weight or the MT Bodoni family as a whole. By changing the rules for this particular weight, MT Bodoni maintained consistency within the weight, the type family and the type of contrast.

Here's the regular weight MT Bodoni besides its bold and black brethren.Courtesy of Wikipedia.com:

Design Foundry: Monotype has the rights to the Bodoni font (?)
Giambattista Bodoni

Date: 1798
Didone / Modern Serif

Courtesy of FontCo.com:

"The serifs of Bodoni, in addition to being very thin, are also nearly perpendicular to the main stem, as opposed to the gently sloping serifs of the so-called "oldstyle" typefaces. In addition, the emphasis of stress is very nearly vertical. The result is an overall clean, yet somewhat cold, appearance, both loved and hated by typographers."

About Didone / Modern Serif, courtesy of Wikipedia.com:

"Didone is a typeface classification recognized by the Association Typographique Internationale (AtypI), and part of the VOX-ATypI classification system. It is characterized by slab-like serifs without brackets, vertical orientation of weight axes, strong contrast between thick and thin lines, and an unornamented, "modern" appearance."

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