Design Magpie - typographic progression

Typographic progression

April 1, 2020

The beauty of fine typography enthralls me because the process of design belies its everyday utility and transcends the technology used to realise it.

1990. University. First year graphic design. Lecturer with years of publishing experience earnestly mentions to bright-eyed young designers, “by the time you have been in industry five years, you will have four favourite typefaces* and use them constantly”. Have yet to pick these four, in fact, quite the opposite. With ever-increasing plethora of options available, type design cycles through fashion to the same degree as colour. Locating the perfect face to give the right look to a project is a much-enjoyed aspect of graphic design.

The history of typography is entwined with the development of written language, starting out as symbols on the cave wall. The evolution of letter forms through all phases is a theme we will explore in brief here, covering topics such as: the exquisite detail of Ancient Roman inscriptions, illuminated manuscripts, hot metal type and the earthquake unleashed by desktop publishing and its influence on modern fonts.

Kerning a font is a process of continuing refinement and nuance. Our Design Magpie Instagram feed will feature typographic experiments, along with colour, texture, imagery and seasonal themes. Where this adventure leads, we will keep you posted…

*For an explanation on the difference between a typeface and font see