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  • Manuscript

    From Latin "manuscriptus" is any document written by hand, as opposed to being mechanically printed or reproduced in some automated way. Before the invention of woodblock printing in China or by moveable type in a printing press in Europe, all written documents had to be both produced and reproduced by hand.

  • Roman capitals

    The inscriptional capitals on Roman buildings are an ancient Roman form of writing, and the basis for modern capital letters. Their structurally perfect design, near-perfect execution in stone, balanced angled stressing, contrasting thick and thin strokes, and incised serifs became the typographic ideal for western civilization. The best-known example of Roman inscriptional capitals exists on the base of Trajan's Column, inscribed c. 113.

  • Carolingian minuscule

    Carolingian or "Carolina" is a script which developed as a calligraphic standard under the patronage of the Emperor Charlemagne, was uniform, and above all, legible, it was one result of a campaign to achieve a culturally unifying standardization across the Carolingian Empire. Humanists of the early Renaissance took these old manuscripts to be ancient Roman originals and modelled their minuscole script called “Lettera Antiqua”.

  • Blackletters

    Also known as "Gothic script" is the direct descendant of "Carolinga minuscola", used throughout Western Europe from approximately 1150 to well into the 17th century. The gothic styles were displaced by Humanist of the early Renaissance with the old Latin types “Lettera Antiqua”.

  • Lettera Antiqua

    In Italy the heavy gothic styles were soon displaced with Latin types, also called “Lettera Antiqua”, an handwriting script that was based on Carolingian minuscule, which Renaissance humanists, obsessed with the revival of antiquity and their role as its inheritors, took to be ancient Roman. From there the script passed to the 15th- and 16th-century printers of books, such as Aldus Manutius of Venice. In this way it forms the basis of our modern lowercase typefaces.

  • Chancery hand

    A cursive developed in the Vatican but based on humanist minuscule (itself based on Carolingian minuscule), was introduced in the 1420s by Niccolò Niccoli; it was the manuscript origin of the typefaces we recognize as italic.

  • Italic script

    Italic script, also known as chancery cursive, which itself draws on Carolingian minuscule is a semi-cursive, slightly sloped style of handwriting and calligraphy that was developed during the Renaissance in Italy.
    The term Italic paying homage to Italy where the style originated.

  • Italic type

    While roman typefaces are upright, italic typefaces slant to the right. The term Italic paying homage to Italy and Francesco Griffo, the designer of the the first italic type. The compact shape of italics allowed to save expensive paper
    The compact form of italics allowed the birth of the first paperback books, cheaper and easier to carry .
    Italic type was first used by Aldus Manutius and the Aldine Press in 1500, in the frontispiece of an edition of Catherine of Siena's letters.

  • Bookbinding

    Is the process of physically assembling a book from an ordered stack of paper sheets that are folded together into sections or sometimes left as a stack of individual sheets.

  • Ligature

    In writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more graphemes or letters are joined as a single glyph. An example is the character æ as used in English, in which the letters a and e are joined. The common ampersand (&) developed from a ligature in which the handwritten Latin letters e and t (spelling et, meaning "and") were combined.

  • incunable

    An incunable, or sometimes incunabulum, is a book, pamphlet, or broadside (such as the Almanach cracoviense ad annum 1474) that was printed—not handwritten—before the year 1501 in Europe.

  • Printing press

    A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium, thereby transferring the ink. Typically used for texts, the invention of the printing press is widely regarded as one of the most influential events in the second millennium, ushering in the period of modernity. The printing press was introduced to the West in the Holy Roman Empire by Johannes Gutenberg, around 1440.

  • Punchcutting

    In traditional typography, punchcutting is the craft of cutting letter punches in steel from which matrices were made in copper for type founding in the letterpress era. Cutting punches and casting type was the first step of traditional typesetting.

  • Matrix

    In letterpress typography the matrix of one letter is inserted into the bottom of a hand mould, the mould is locked and molten type metal is poured into a straight-sided vertical cavity above the matrix. When the metal has cooled and solidified the mould is unlocked and the newly cast metal sort is removed, ready for composition with other sorts.

  • Woodcut

    Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. Areas that the artist cuts away carry no ink, while characters or images at surface level carry the ink to produce the print.

  • Ductus

    In calligraphy, a ductus is the direction, number and sequence of the strokes that work together to create a letter.

  • Font

    In metal typesetting, a font is a particular size, weight and style of a typeface. Each font was a matched set of type, one piece (called a "sort") for each glyph, and a typeface comprised a range of fonts that shared an overall design. In modern usage, with the advent of digital typography, "font" is frequently synonymous with "typeface", although the two terms do not necessarily mean the same thing.