Typography without Words


  • Michael Twyman


This paper introduces a simple notation for presenting some of the graphic variables of typography. It rests on the use of the ‘x’, ‘o’ and ‘i’ of the typewriter and is intended for use by anyone concerned with graphic language. It is suggested that the notation is of value in relation to teaching because it encourages serious thinking about typographic problems in conceptual terms. The rules of the notation are explained and the general approach demonstrated by the treatment of a single topic "Headings in text." The topic was chosen because it relates to the theme of this issue of the journal. The notation has been used over a number of years in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication of the University of Reading in connection with the teaching of undergraduates and lay people. Apart from its use in relation to teaching, it is suggested that the notation has a value in encouraging a dialogue between research workers and typographers.