In this article, Warde shares her opinion of good typography using a flowery metaphor; using wine vessels. She lays out 2 choices: a crystal-clear wine glass and a solid gold goblet. If the clear glass was chosen — everything about it is calculated to reveal rather than hide the beautiful thing which it was meant to contain. She mentions, the virtues of the perfect wine-glass have a parallel in typography — and that is type well used is invisible as type. And those articles go on by saying how type can be decorative as a form and how manipulation of the form of type has been widely used and so on.

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This page of the essay has words. Download the full version above. In the contemporary world, it might be difficult to define these terms, as they are rather ambiguous and misleading due to the fact that they are entirely dependable on the way people perceive typography, in different contexts.

If we see the goblets as a metaphor for the typeface, the overall appearance of the type, and the wine as the content, the message that has to be sent, then we have two types of typography: one that manages to send the message in a clear, legible way the crystal goblet , and one that does quite the opposite the golden goblet. It is an extremely subjective matter, as some people might be unable to understand the information simply because they are not part of the target audience of that design.

Depending on our cultural background and environment, the information stored in our brain represents certain things. In other words, the way we perceive a message is entirely dependable on our experience, our life, our culture. This is not only true for the present, but for the past as well. For example, the posters made during the Psychedelia movement in the 60s often constituted of vibrant colours and vintage illustrations, combined with highly decorative typefaces Heller, S.

The psychedelic typography was deliberately difficult to read; it was unconventional and it was an integrated part of the posters. Wes Wilson, one of the most well-known psychedelic designers, invented a font with letters that looked as if they were moving or melting.

Its target audience was a certain group of people youngsters who were interested in drugs and rock and roll music , and they responded in a positive way to the psychedelic designs because they could identify with the extravagant style presented by them. On the other hand, people outside of this circle were excluded and most likely had a different perception of the movement Heller, S. As time passed, the movement was slowly seen more as a clich??

Typography has never been just about sending a message across, with no regards to appearances. The serif which appeared in Ancient Rome, was created as a result of the use of utensils with sharp edges Hara The message still gets to you, but what you see first is the actual appearance of the type, which can influence the way you perceive and understand the text, in a positive or negative way Munari When Johannes Gutenberg created movable type and printed his first Bible, he wanted the book to be similar to the handwritten books of that time Bell In this particular case, it was not so much about the conveyed message people already knew about the people, most of them already read it but the overall aspect of the letters and the pagination of the text.

Most of the propaganda posters used display fonts, quite often in bright colours, meant to catch your attention. Once the anti-semitic film, The Eternal Jew, was released, the posters meant to advertise this film often used font that resembled Hebrew, so as to show the cultural difference between them and the Germans Narayanaswami 4.

In other words, the type successfully managed to make people unconsciously draw a line between the two cultures, so they could by associating the Hebrew-like font with unpleasantly drawn portraits of Jewish people be manipulated into despising them. This shows us that, despite not having a good and noble goal, typography still worked, in the way that it clearly sent the message to its target audience, the German people, and it successfully managed to manipulate them.

As with the Psychedelic posters, typography was an integrated part of the poster, but it did play a very important role. Typography played an important role as an integrated part of an overall design in styles such as Art Deco and Art Nouveau. Art Deco is a style that is mainly characterized by its geometric shapes, bold curves and strong, vertical lines Bigman, As in the previous examples, context plays an important role, so it is important to remember the highly industrialised period when this style appeared.

If we look back at Art Deco typefaces now, they no longer seem modern to us, although so many people all over the world identified with this style at that time. This essay was submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies. If you use part of this page in your own work, you need to provide a citation, as follows:.

About this essay: This essay was submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies. If you use part of this page in your own work, you need to provide a citation, as follows: Essay Sauce, 'The Crystal Goblet' — Beatrice Warde.

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Review: The Crystal Goblet, or Printing Should Be Invisible by Beatrice Warde

At the age of thirteen her school introduced her to the art of calligraphy. This interest did not translate into an print-related apprenticeship because she said that "the printing trade is barred to women, on the craftsman level," a fact that had "been true for many centuries". She became acquainted with Bruce Rogers and, on his recommendation, was appointed after graduation to the post of assistant librarian to the American Type Founders Company. She worked in Jersey City under Henry Lewis Bullen , where she concentrated on self-education and research. While there she became acquainted with eminent typographers including Daniel Berkeley Updike and Stanley Morison , who later played a highly influential part in her professional life.


Beatrice Warde

You may choose your own favorite vintage for this imaginary demonstration, so that it be a deep shimmering crimson in colour. You have two goblets before you. One is of solid gold, wrought in the most exquisite patterns. The other is of crystal-clear glass, thin as a bubble, and as transparent. Pour and drink; and according to your choice of goblet, I shall know whether or not you are a connoisseur of wine. For if you have no feelings about wine one way or the other, you will want the sensation of drinking the stuff out of a vessel that may have cost thousands of pounds; but if you are a member of that vanishing tribe, the amateurs of fine vintages, you will choose the crystal, because everything about it is calculated to reveal rather than to hide the beautiful thing which it was meant to contain. There is the long, thin stem that obviates fingerprints on the bowl.

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