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Questions tagged [history]

Questions regarding the history of design, typography and/or art.

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99 votes
5 answers

Why don't upper case numbers exist?

Capital letters add a lot to text in various ways, for names, brands, emphasis (although capitalisation for emphasis is frowned upon) Why then, are there no upper case numbers?
Digital Lightcraft's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers

Are there any films about graphic design?

I'm looking for fiction films that are either about graphic design, or have important elements of its history, and I'm a bit stuck. I'm not trying to find movies that would be inspiring for ...
Yisela's user avatar
  • 26.4k
104 votes
8 answers

Who first discovered CMYK?

It has been used for colour printing for many, many years, but who (and when) first discovered that a bright pink colour (magenta), a light blue (cyan), yellow and black can be mixed to create almost ...
Digital Lightcraft's user avatar
61 votes
6 answers

Before computers, how did cartographers draw roads with perfectly parallel sides?

If you're drawing a road on a map, and that road happens to be straight, it's easy to draw its two sides parallel: you just move the ruler. But most roads twist and turn, and drawing their sides ...
Stephen F's user avatar
  • 651
32 votes
2 answers

What is the name for these serif-like features of stereotypical "Old West" lettering?

Looking at the dedication plaque on the Salt Lake Temple, I was moved to wonder: What's the deal with this stereotypically "American Old West" style of lettering, where almost every letter has sort of ...
Quuxplusone's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer

What's the term used when the first word of one page is repeated at the end of the previous page?

There's a common feature in old typography where the first word of a page is repeated at the end of the previous page, usually right-aligned on a line by itself. This book from 1759 shows this ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 713
11 votes
2 answers

Origin of numerical font weight descriptions in typography

The CSS specification (among several others) establish that, when selecting a font, the font-weight may be described using numerical descriptors ranging from 100 to 900 at 100 increments, where 400 is ...
Wtrmute's user avatar
  • 213
11 votes
2 answers

What design and art concepts were art students/professionals discussing in the 70s?

I'm wondering: If you were [conditional, I'm not asking for people who were actually there] an art (or printing, or advertisement, I'm not sure what the title would have been back then) student or ...
Yisela's user avatar
  • 26.4k
10 votes
2 answers

Why was capital N temporarily inverted in 1468?

An answer for "Why does the small h letter in Garamond italic bend inward?" shows the following image: The middle row of this image (marked Han 86R, Rome 1468) has the capital N inverted compared to ...
CJ Dennis's user avatar
  • 201
9 votes
2 answers

Can the end of double spacing after periods be dated?

From this Slate article: Hundreds of years ago some typesetters would end sentences with a double space, others would use a single space, and a few renegades would use three or four spaces. ...
F'x's user avatar
  • 2,282
9 votes
4 answers

What resource to learn about the psychological effects of typography?

The recent questions I've asked all about how to achieve a special psychological effect in typography, and I think I need to have a better insights on the psychology of typography to effectively ...
Ooker's user avatar
  • 1,863
6 votes
2 answers

High pass photoshop filters skips the edges of the histogram?

In this Natalia Taffarel presentation, she explains that photoshop high-pass filter "skips the edges" of the histogram and that for creating an accurate high-pass filter we have to apply -50 contrast ...
Samuel Flores Sanchez's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer

Why is the numpad on a keyboard not designed to print typographically correct symbols?

As Wikipedia states, the numeric keypad, number pad or short numpad provides calculator-style efficiency for entering numbers. The numpad’s keys are digits from 0 to 9, addition (+), subtraction (−)...
elegent's user avatar
  • 1,865
5 votes
1 answer

Identification of a lively style of hand lettering from around 1900

I have come across a certain lively style of hand lettering on some old postcards that interests me. I have only two examples: The full images can be seen here and here. The images are from ...
Wolff's user avatar
  • 21.2k
4 votes
1 answer

When and why did spaces around an em dash originally appear?

Today, the usage of spaces around an em dash in English depends on the publisher's style. But in scanned old books, I find only unspaced em-dashes—similar to this one. (Moreover, in printing, the em ...
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