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Design or selection of letter forms to be organized into words and sentences and printed or displayed electronically. Typography originated after the invention of printing from movable type in the mid 15th century. The three major type families in the history of Western printing are roman, italic, and black letter (Gothic). All had their origin in the scripts of the calligraphers whose work was ultimately replaced by printing. In the succeeding centuries typographers have created some 10,000 typefaces (a complete set of letter forms of a particular design). Depending on the style of their letters, typefaces are categorized as old style, transitional, and modern. Commonly used typefaces include Caslon, Baskerville, Bodoni, Garamond, and Times New Roman. See alsoJohn Baskerville; Giambattista Bodoni; Stanley Morison. The selection of a typeface is an important part of the aesthetic process in graphic design.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on typography, visit Britannica.com.