Research paper on Bodoni/transitional

Hey all!

This is my first post, so be gentle. My professor, Pablo Medina, suggested this place to ask for some insight on a research paper I'm doing.

I'm basically in the formative throws right now, but I'm working towards some sort of thesis. I'm thinking about discussing how Bodoni as a transitional typeface bridges the gap between serif and sans serif fonts, and/or something else to do with its place in history.

As I said-- formative throws.

My main point of posting here is to ask if you guys can recommend any good sources, print or otherwise, for me to read up on the history and help myself get as close to a perfect grade as possible!

Anything would be appreciated, even just insight.


oldnick's picture

That’s an interesting premise, but one which I doubt you can support. IIRC, sans-serif styles “debuted” as display type, generally all caps. They bore no appreciable stylistic similarity to Bodoni whatsoever, as far as I can see…

Nick Shinn's picture

I discuss how the neoclassical didone style was superceded by the Scotch Modern: (page 5).

The full text of my Richard Austin quote, courtesy of James Mosley:

Austin referred to “modern type introduced by the French”, presumably Didot et al, but I think Bodoni’s work would fall under the same rubric.

hrant's picture

The idea that making serifs abrupt instead of adnate made it easier to eventually remove them completely is interesting. But it sounds like a parallel universe. :-)


Nick Shinn's picture

Yes, because the sans emerged as an atavism—from the grotto, according to Mosley:
(This is the seminal text on the birth of the sans, locating it in the early 19th century rather than as a twentieth century modernist phenomenon, which had been the traditional idea in design culture dominated by the Modernist narrative, ignoring the first sans faces as an incidental aberration.)

nathen's picture

Thanks guys.

I'll have a look through the materials. As I have to focus on one 'object' (in my case, I chose a typeface), I may well continue to use Bodoni (perhaps Didot as it seems to carry large significance with the Didone style). A switch to the classification Didone might be sensible, also.

There is some analysis to be found in there, I just need to have a deeper think about my thesis and have a look for some reliable sources.

I'm currently thinking one possibility along the lines of how the deliberate use of a Didone style in computer displays fool the viewer into a Neoclassical viewpoint in order to contrast against a barrage of contemporary type.

Or something. I'm extremely new to this (both research papers, theses and critical type analysis), and learning all the time.

hrant's picture

Aspects of technology certainly affect design decisions. Some good examples are the overly-bold Bolds of the old MS Core Fonts, the faceting in Charter, the stylistic compatibility of slab-serif fonts, any so many more.


Chris Dean's picture

@nathen: When looking to a bulletin board for research, be sure to cite it lest your committee accuse you of plagiarism. APA 6.0 states:

Dean, C. (2012, October 25). Re: Thread title (Online forum comment). Retrieved from http://url of the thread

In this case, replace my name and date with the time and person who answered your question.

rexnnye's picture

Hey Nathan!

Please check this out might this will help you ...

Chris Dean's picture

@rexnnye: Welcome to Typophile! How did you stumble upon Typophile and this thread?

rexnnye's picture

@Chris Dean: do you need any help with that? do let me know ...

Chris Dean's picture

@rexnnye: Help with what? Please contact me directuly through the Typophile conact form.

mafia's picture

Research papers are almost the basic helper of students like this site provides the basic knowledge to students.

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