If you are anything like me then you love exploring fonts and experimenting with them, especially if you are writing a fancy letter, creating content for a website or are designing a logo or a flyer that demands to be unique. You may want to choose a font that is distinct, nontraditional and appealing to your audience while at the same time remaining visible and easily readable. Fonts can definitely set the tone to any content. Have you ever wondered where fonts originated? Who in the world came up with this brilliant and original style of writing?

Fonts have a history that goes as far back to when printing press was mankind’s means of creating content. It was Johann Gutenberg who designed the first typeface, meaning font for his movable type press. Gothic Blackletter was the first font that Gutenberg designed. At the time every book was hand-lettered. Gutenberg launched an experiment that would produce books more rapidly while retaining their antique quality of writing. This gained the attention of other printing shops and the printing shops owners not just welcomed Gutenberg idea but also took it a step further by investigating other lettering styles which could be used as models for typeface. More thought and time was put into the development of typeface, which led to the art of typographic design.

In 1460, Nicolas Jenson earned the credit for creating the original Roman font. This font as primarily used for books published in Italy. Compared to the heavy Gothic Blackletter, this font was lighter in design. Having derived inspiration from cursive writing, Aldus Manutius and Francesco Griffo created the original Italic typeface towards the beginning of the 1500’s. Italic then meant Italy but in today’s society italic fonts are known as oblique.

However, fonts are not just a style of writing a letter, number or symbol. Each font has a different element to it such as width, weight and shade. It is a combination of all these factors that defines a particular font and lends to it a unique identity. Pierre Fournier le Jeune created the Pica System in the mid 1700’s. This system was used primarily in Europe and America to measure typeface. Nowadays font size is measured by points.

The most common font used on software programs such as, Microsoft Word is Times New Roman or Arial. If you are trying to maintain a more professional persona you would use the common fonts that enjoy universal recognition. However, Microsoft lists over 100 fonts for a more creative individual. There is even a font that replicates comic book style and fonts like Gabriola that are fancy and elegant enough to be used on elegant letters or design wedding invitations.

Thanks to the efforts of these creative men and their creative minds today there endless opportunities for personalizing a simple correspondence. This brings a more personal touch and tone to the content that we create. If you are a daredevil, experiment with several different fonts. At the very least it would make for an interesting read and nevertheless, you can never go wrong with classics like Times New Roman, Arial, or Italic that are still in high demand, making them the most common fonts used.