Fonts and typefaces are one of those things we give little or no thought to in our everyday lives. They surround us daily, on street signs, billboards, movie posters, books, newspapers, sides of trucks and just about everything else we buy.
Here is a brief history of typefaces. Typefaces are now over 560 years old but until about 25 years ago we barely knew their names. With the everyday access to computers, both at home and at work, and their pull down font menus we have been made aware of the vast array of different fonts available to us.
Steve Jobs brings fonts to our attention
After one paid semester at University in 1972, Jobs spent 18 months hanging out at Reed University studying Calligraphy. His professor was the ex-trappist Monk, Robert Pallandio.
“I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.”
— Steve Jobs
When Jobs designed his first Macintosh computer, it came with something unprecedented for this time – a wide range of fonts. This range included familiar types such as Times New Roman and Helvetica. Jobs also introduced new designs and seemingly took great care in their appearance and naming. They were named after cities he loved – Chicago and Toronto.