Primer of Typeface Identification

"Primer of Typeface Identification" b A.S. Lawson, Archie Provan & Frank J. Romano

Author(s): Alexander S. Lawson; Archie Provan, Frank J. Romano
Publication: Arlington, Virginia : National Composition Association
Year: 1976
Description: 36 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.

Publisher’s Comments
Written for NCA by Alexander Lawson and Archie Provan this 32-page booklet covers the distinguishing characteristics of 35 commonly used text faces, a brief history of their development, their usage and provides illustrated examples of each.

In developing this Primer of Typeface Identification, the National Composition Association has endeavored to present a brief history of the development of selected typefaces, their common usage and most noticeable characteristics. Because of the plethora of faces available to today’s graphic designers, it is not feasible to have a comprehensive review, or indeed, even to provide a specimen of each. Our objective, then, has been to provide a basis upon which the student of typography can come to understand type and its use. We have selected 26 of the most commonly used typefaces to use as illustrations.

Adding complexity to the task of type recognition is the common usage of several names for the same face and the wide proliferation of type styles “similar to” popular faces. For many reasons, there is no standard by which type can be conveniently classified.

Included here is a typeface nomenclature comparison chart, giving the generic name and the name used by each manufacturer of photocomposition film fonts. Again, this list is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to the suppliers’ inventory of faces.

The National Composition Association wishes to acknowledge the contribution and participation of the type suppliers mentioned in this manual in providing information for the chart.

Wade B. Dowdle, CAE
Executive Director
National Composition Association

The front cover is an original assemblage of Leo Kaplan, Art Director, Great Lakes Press Corp., Rochester, N.Y. and made especially for the National Composition Association. Type for this publication was set on a Pacesetter Mark I by FolioGraphics, Hyattsville, Maryland. Text copy is 9/10 and 10/12 Palatino. Heads are 18 Palatino Bold. Sub heads are 14 Palatino Bold. The typeface nomenclature comparison chart is set in Helvetica and Helvetica Bold.

Table of Contents

Recognition of printing types4
Terminology of printing types6
Type Characteristics7-31
Typeface Nomenclature Comparison Chart33-35
Publications List36-37