Contribution of Giambattista Bodoni

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In the year 1798, Giambattista Bodoni, a man known for his exceptional level of “technical refinement”, created a series of serif typefaces called Bodoni (naturally). Bodoni, a classic typeface is noted for its unique characteristics and the precision in every letter, number, and symbol.

Giambattista Bodoni was born in 1740 in Saluzzo, Italy. He led multiple career paths throughout his time, such as an engraver, publisher, printer, and typographer, yet all his jobs were related to the art of type. However he is most commonly noted for being “his country’s most renowned type designer and printer.” In 1768 Duke Ferdinand of Parma, Italy suggested Bodoni set up a private press and type foundry. Giambattista Bodoni took the Duke up on his offer and called the operation “Stamperia Reale”. It was during this time that Bodoni created many of his well-known fonts, including typeface Bodoni.

Bodoni is fairly well recognized, and certainly easy to distinguish when its distinct characteristics are identified. The font is considered a Modern typeface, meaning the face has a “strong contrast between the thicks and thins [of its stroke], unbracketed serifs, and a strong vertical stress”. Giambattista Bodoni “faithfully reproduced letterforms with very thin hairlines, standing in sharp contrast to the thicker lines constituting the main stems of the characters”. Each letter is a valid example of this feature in the stroke, but the “o”, “b”, and “e”, are especially good; they clearly display the Bodoni style.

Much like the font Baskerville, Bodoni is slightly condensed and narrow, especially the uppercase letters. “Digital Bodoni typically suffers from a particular kind of legibility degradation.” In my opinion, Bodoni (along with most other fonts) would be incredibly difficult to read if a large body of text was written in only uppercase letters, however I personally find Bodoni suitable for standard text in paragraphs (using upper and lowercase). It is stated that...
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