bible type basic info : presentation half way :
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The idea was to compare existing typefaces used in Bibles with each other and then define the ideal 'bible font'. What are the most important features for small size characters? How to save space, but still keep the text legible? Within these restrictions, we were meant to create a 'bible typeface' of our own.
First we took a look at existing typefaces used in small size publications (newspapers, phone books, manuals). The idea was to browse through some typefaces and try to find out common features that make a font legible. We also printed Bauer Bodoni in small sizes and put it through some hard core photocopying (magnifying, reducing and vice versa).
We found out that many of the most space saving and readable typefaces have relatively low contrast, big x-height and they are somewhat condensed. Each of us chose one distinct approach to modify Bauer Bodoni. Heikki made the spacing as tight as possible. Hanna tried to make the font as small as possible, which was close to Susana's attempt to lower the contrast within the typeface. Kirsi wanted to know how short the ascenders and descenders could be.
All of us made many versions of lowercase b and n, to find out the defining forms. Bas made a fusion out of our proposals and we all continued from this new starting point. We decided to make the serifs according to Heikki's sketch, where the serifs were angular and quite simple. By Friday we had almost all the lower case characters ready.
The next week was used to unify the new font (width, curves, height). We also made several test layouts with different point sizes, leadings and column widths. Three languages were used: Finnish, English and Spanish.
All the forms in any letter carry a long history behind them and that affects reading, even if you are not aware it. You can do almost anything for display purposes, but in order to make a small and legible typeface you can't piss against the wind. You'll have to use letterforms that rely on tradition. Our result had almost nothing to do with Bauer Bodoni, so the workshop was mostly about finding out things you really don't know, even if you think you do!
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