RBS 2005 Course Offerings in Typography and Book Design
A good place to begin the study of typography is Stanley Nelson's Introduction to the History of Typography (T-10). James Mosley's Type, Lettering, and Calligraphy, 1450-1830 (T-50) is aimed at those with at least some background in the history of letterforms. A second Mosley course, Type, Lettering, and Calligraphy, 1830-1914 (T-55) continues the themes introduced in T-50, but the first course is not a prerequisite for the second.
T-10. Introduction to the History of Typography
A survey of European and American typographic history from 1450 to the present, but concentrating on the period 1480-1950. Topics will include: the development of Roman and italic; from Old Style to Transitional to Modern (Italian, French, Dutch, and English developments); display types; the coming of machine composition and the historic revivals; typeface nomenclature; and techniques for dating pre-1885 hand-set typefaces and for naming post-1885 machine-set typefaces. Students will see demonstrations of punchcutting and typefounding on a hand type mold. In laboratory sessions, they will set type by hand, proof their work, and print on a reproduction wood common press.
This course is aimed at those with little or no previous formal exposure to the history of typography. Its aim is to enable students to put almost any piece of material printed in Roman or italic type between 1500 and 1950 into historical perspective.
T-50. Type, Lettering, & Calligraphy, 1450-1830
The development of the major formal and informal book hands, the dominant printing types of each period, and their interrelationship. Topics include: the Gothic hands; humanistic script; the Renaissance inscriptional capital; Garamond and the spread of the Aldine Roman; calligraphy from the chancery italic to the English round hand; the neo-classical book and its typography; and early commercial typography. The course presupposes a general knowledge of Western history and some awareness of the continuity of the Latin script but no special knowledge of typographical history. See T-55 for a description of the continuation of this course.
It is presumed that applicants, even though they may not have had formal exposure to typographic history, have a considerable but general interest in the history of the book. In their personal statement, prospective students should describe their background in the field (if any), and mention what aspects of letterforms (if any) are of particular interest to them.
T-55. Type, Lettering, & Calligraphy, 1830-1940
An examination of typefaces and related letterforms. Topics include: commercial typography and the evolution of decorative display types: Perrin, Whittingham, and the revival of old style typefaces; the types of the private presses; art nouveau: the artist and printmaker as letter designer; Edward Johnston and broad-pen calligraphy; type design for machine production: the American Typefounders Company, Mergenthaler Linotype, Monotype (in the USA and England); new types in Germany and France. This course continues the themes developed in T-50 (see previous page).
This course will attempt to bring together coherently a number of points about the history of letterforms during its period, to survey current scholarship in the field, and to point directions for students' future study. The course presupposes a general knowledge of Western history and of the topics covered in T-50. In their personal statement, prospective students – especially those who have not already taken T-50 – should outline their background and previous study in typographic history.