Who was the first typographer?

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Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
Who was the first typographer?
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Who was the first typographer?

David Rault's picture
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Joined: 12 Jun 2007 - 3:44am
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if by typographer you mean the first man who carved separated block letters in order to assemble them to print a full page, then it's johannes gensfleisch, aka gutenberg. i guess.

dr

Alexander Kominek's picture
Joined: 10 Dec 2004 - 6:27pm
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I'm not sure about that - wasn't movable type being used in Asia centuries earlier?

I agree that the definition of "typographer" has to be clarified in order to answer this question.

- Lex

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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I operationalize the definition of typographer as

"One who sets text to make it easier to read"

Not who invented printing, movable type etc.

And I'm not interested in defining what "typographer" means.

The question is:

Who was the first person to set text to make it easier to read?

David Rault's picture
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Joined: 12 Jun 2007 - 3:44am
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muller, im afraid your definition is a little too vague, still. claude garamond, for example, by creating a truely wonderful typeface (though, not from scratch) and putting his letters together in a fancy and elaborate way, made his books quite easy to read. still he was not the first one: before him, griffo, augereau, jenson... and actually, to come back to your definition (which by no mean is the definition of typographer, by the way), you say "to make text easier to read": easier than... what?

dr

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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>Who was the first person to set text to make it easier to read?

The Romans, the asnwer is always "The Romans".

David Rault's picture
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Joined: 12 Jun 2007 - 3:44am
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Damn, sil, you're right.

the romans.

damn.

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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Good points.

My question is:

Who was the first person to set text in order to improve reading comprehension?

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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Larson, Dyson, Stiff, Hartley, Santos-Lonsdale etc do this sort of work.

Who did it first?

Tinker was 1963, but he was more into eye movements.

Russell McGorman's picture
Joined: 25 May 2006 - 10:01am
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I don't think anyone ever set out to be incomprehensible. Unreadable books don't sell well.

I'm no type historian, but I'd agree with Griffo.

(edit: Does posting 12 minutes apart count as simultaneous? Guess not, but I didn't see your last post.)

Dwiggins, 1880 - 1956.

-=®=-

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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Does type have to be movable or simply reproducible for its user to count as a typographer?

Dan Gayle's picture
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Joined: 17 May 2006 - 7:00pm
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Who was the first person to set text in order to improve reading comprehension?

What have any of the people of the 20th century improved upon that wasn't already there in the Incunabula? Obviously, some scribes had to have been working on this for a long time, because Griffo and Jensen and co. didn't just pull it out of thin air.

David Rault's picture
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Joined: 12 Jun 2007 - 3:44am
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oh well if we are going this far in the description, then... runic tables have been carved in order to be understandable, its pretty ancient, but i don't know the name of the guy who did it.

ok, i think i'm fed up with this neverending subject.

dr

Jackie Frant's picture
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Joined: 24 Feb 2005 - 9:18am
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Who was the first person to set text in order to improve reading comprehension?

Ottmar Mergenthaler - for the Parisian Expo. He created a machine that set type in a way that it was extremely easy - and that technique lasted about 100 years.

AchillesG's picture
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Joined: 29 Nov 2007 - 5:45am
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I think Christopher's question is --if I understood correctly-- who was the person to employ empirical research --rather than convention-- to optimize a design for legibility and reading comprehension (which is only a subcategory of typography).

If that is indeed the case then I have absolutely no idea...

(Us Greeks are mighty helpful)