There are six main classifications of type. In our lecture on the 'History of type', we took a look at all of the classifications through time:
The Type movement really started with the 'Late Age of Print.' This began around 1450, with Gutenberg's printing press. In our language, All of the capital letters come from Roman script, famously found on 'Trajan's Collumn' dating back to 113AD. The lowercase letters derive from medieval script used by Monks.
This was the first typeface to emerge. The aim of the Humanist type movement was to produce a type that incorporated roman and gothic script, yet was legible for print. Humanist fonts are characterised by slated crossed 'e's, little contrast between strokes as you can see with the 'M' in the diagram bellow, and an even vertical height between the lowercase and then the capital letters.
Geoffroy Tory believed that the Alphabet should reflect the human form. He suggested the cross in the 'A' should be positioned where it would cover the 'man's organ of generation.' This is rather pretentious way to look at Type, showing however that some did see it already as a form of art.
This typeface emerged in the period of the 'Enlightenment'. People were beginning to turn to science instead of religion, meaning writing became more rational and efficient. Louis Simonneau created type based on quasi-scientific lines, whereas John Baskerville created type with such contrast between thick and thin lines, some criticised he would 'blind' his readers. This contrasts with the idea of sense and efficiency. Overall, at this period type really became a distinct art form, moving away from emulating human handwriting. We see in the image bellow the gradual vertical straightening of the 'O' through the Old style and transitional movement: