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first I'm going to briefly introduce myself (silent reader and observer for a longer time, now finally joined):
My name is Cornelia but I prefer to be called Conny, I'm 26 and studying media design at Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln (Cologne), what I really enjoy, it is a great experience with a lot of demandful tasks. Like the one I could need your help:
My topic will need some space.
I am planning on printing a booklet that contains a potrait about the "Didot" font. (I'm afraid my English is a bit rusty, please don't hesitate to correct me in case of failing at technical terms.)
It is a task at my typography discipline (Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln). Every student does another font.
I already did a presentation about "Didot" (Only showed the sources of picture-like files, because the other stuff (what are the characteristics, which differences between Didot and Bodoni are noticeable) I can see and explain by myself. (I got a completed vocational training as media designer and I think I got some experience in dealing with typography)
I really want this booklet to be something special. It should not be filled with web-based sources only or none at all.
My problem is:
I am desperately looking for books or other sources that are based on scientific evidence. Especially on some facts.
I did the presentation with most web-based sources, which is okay, cause it are links to blogs by people that love typography and got some experience, but for something like a printed booklet I think it really should be properly researched.
It should be about at least 28-32 pages with information about "historical" and "digital" Didots. I want to show when it first got revealed, by whom, why, where, how popular it was, its history, where it was used at the very first, a comparison to its biggest rivale, Bodoni, the specimen of Didot, the new digitized fonts (esp. the usefull ones that are built with lots of signs - don't know how to say in english right now, sorry): HTF, Linotype, URW, DPS, and say briefly what the differences are and which ones are the "best built ones" if you know what I mean.
Facts that I got without real sources:
(releasing) Designer: Firmin Didot, released at 1784 (http://ilovetypography.com/2008/05/30/a-brief-history-of-type-part-4/) Problem: Where does that information come from? There is no source at this article about it), inspired by Baskerville (so is Bodoni, => comparison, same source again, is this true?!)
First printed thing with Didot font was "La Henriade" (Voltaire), which was printed by Firmins brother, Pierre in 1819 http://catalogue.drouot.com/ref-drouot/lot-ventes-aux-encheres-drouot.js...
I don't know where I could find a source for the fact, this was the first "thing", for which Didot (by Firmin) was used while printing.
It's character is shaped by the sense of enlightenment (I read this somewhere, but don't have a source). I kind of did my own interpretation based on the therm enlightenment, the mood of french people at that time and the specimen of the Didone.
Why do Didot and Bodoni look SO similar? I mean, okay, both font designers loved Baskerville (based on ilovetypography.com again), but can you really rely on that one fact? And where is the source for this?
http://www.fonts.com/content/learning/fontology/level-1/type-families/di... says "Frutiger also studied the Didot types in a book printed by the Didots in 1818, La Henriade by Voltaire" - again no real source.
I already wrote an e-mail to stehaufsatz.com and got an answer from Schmitz with some sources I already ordered at the library and can borrow next monday, but some french books too, which leads me to the next problem: I don't speak French.
"Specimen des nouveaux caractères de la fonderie et de l'imprimerie de P. Didot, l'ainé", Pierre Didot, 1819
"Sur le prix du papier dans l'antiquité", Émile Egger, 1857
"Spécimens de caractères de Firmin et Jules Didot", André Jammes, 2002
These are those books. Is there a possibility some of those got translated into english?
Then there was another book which is acutally in German:
"Wo der Buchstabe das Wort führt", Kurt Weidemann
I know Weidemann but the library I am member at (cologne university) doesn't keep this one in stock.
There should be some pictures in it that could help me (referring to Sybille Schmitz - stehaufsatz.com) maybe.
Sources that I researched today and that I did not check yet (going to the library next monday):
"Das wohltemperierte Alphabet", Axel Bertram
"Anatomy of a typeface didot", Alexander S. Lawson
"The Didot Family and the progress of printin", Albert Joseph George
Maybe some of you already did a big research at didot and can help me with more tipps about sources that are needed or that prove the fundamental facts like "who, when, where, why"? Or say, the books I get monday are enough?
I wasn't able to find that much examples of using didot. An I'm not sure which examples are the most interesting ones.
Being aware of the fact that there are a lot of digital didot fonts and that fashion magazine got their own version built, this is what i found:
Fashion, fashion, fashion. HTF didot at Harpers Bazaar, another specified version for vogue, and so on. Then a lot of bookcovers. But what about other examples? Are these enough or do you as typographs want to see other examples with copytext or a more creative way of use? I ask this because of my docent. The booklet is his to evaluate and I want to impress him and do something I can be proud of. I am also concerned about hard- or softcover and size. I think I personally would prefer a hardcover version in DinA5 portrait format with matt pages. What would you like? I mean "booklet" itself should usually be softcover, but I think it may upgrade the appearance and reflect what I want to say: That one's better. More solid.
By the way Sybille Schmitz meant I should contact Mr. Frutiger. I'm wondering how that should be possible the whole time.. didn't find ONE contact adress even after an exhausting search.
I hope I don't ask too much from you and my English isn't too rusty, didn't use it for a long time.
Maybe I should have waited till I got those books and read a bit, but I'm already dying to start this thing.
Sorry for the long text but it's important to me and I feel like I need someone who's pushing me in the right direction.
Of course I would love to show the result to you as soon as it's finished!
Have a nice day!