Screen capture of MacOS by Group U

Screen capture of MacOS by Group U

Bodoni: Typography & Technology

How the Bodoni Font was Printed and Technologies Devolved

For a long time, Italy has thrived as a center of art and design. Some of the creations to come from this south European nation include the stiletto, carbonara, and the Bodoni font.  Bodoni was created by a typographer named Giambattista Bodoni in the mid-18th century. In the article titled “Early Western European Book Culture,” the author describes this era as one when Western Europe underwent demographic and economic growth. Giambattista was famous for progressing from traditional calligraphy style that conquered the print press sector to create a rather contemporary font named Bodoni. Unlike the contemporary typefaces of the time, this one was supple and sophisticated. Given its contributions to print media, it is vital to understand how the font was printed and the technology devolved. 

Bodoni’s typography was printed by taking cues from the dark, condensed handwriting of the period defined as blackletter (Lecture 9). The transitions in this font are gradual and the serifs maintain a slightly higher degree of bracketing. Owing to its visibility, Bodoni font can be compared to a phonograph, the visual representation of something auditory owing to its clear visibility (“The Emergence of the Alphabet”). Its typography was more of a crystal goblet as its hairline, strong, thick and thin contrast, and weight cloud the reading process. 

The technology devolved in the printing of Bodoni font was inspired by the graphic design of letters, which one can describe as the daily interaction of people with objects (“Leisure, Culture, Design Type, and Chromolithography”). Giambattista created Bodoni by using existing typographic ideas, incorporating eights all the fatface, which is the outcome of making a font bold to an extent it cannot be any bolder. The technology in the Bodoni font has parallels with simultaneity, which is the lexical use of signifiers to impress the viewer with a sense of their coexistence (“Modernist Tendencies, Perception, and Typography”). Thus, the font is designed for the digital era and utilizes OpenType features. 

Bodoni’s printing technique and devolved technology continue to play a crucial role in the contemporary world of fashion and print despite its unsuitability for body text. Its variations have different strengths that make them uniquely suited for specific presentations.


“Bodoni Schriftmuster” by Peter Glaab is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Bodoni Schriftmuster” by Peter Glaab is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

“Bodoni Schriftmuster” by Peter Glaab is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Bodoni Schriftmuster” by Peter Glaab is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Work Cited for Written Component:
“Early Western European Book Culture.” (2019).
“Lecture 9: Postmodernity? Digitality, and the Shifting Significance of the Signifier.” (2019).
(“Leisure, Culture, Design Type, and Chromolithography.” (2019).
“Modernist Tendencies, Perception, and Typography.” (2019).
“The Emergence of the Alphabet.” (2019).