Design: The Bodoni Poster

by Max on February 1, 2003

Class assignments are always fun and challenging for Graphic Designer majors, especially if you were lucky to be one of Prof. Allen Sheets‘ minions in MSUM. The early GD classes focused on study of colors, shapes, compositions and particularly font types, for which I studied and designed a display panel. The lucky font I ended up with was classic Bodoni, for which I prepared the following historic overview:

bodoniGiambattista Bodoni (1740-1813) was born in Saluzzo, Italy. He was the son of a painter, and served his apprenticeship in Rome. Later the Duke of Parma employed Bodoni, as a manager of the royal press. He began by working with older typefaces, which was often adorned with complex decorations. Over the years he graduated towards cleaner and more modern fonts. In 1790, he developed the font now known as Bodoni. The Bodoni types are considered to be classic text face, because they were the culmination of nearly 300 years of evolution in roman type design, in which fine hairlines contrast sharply with bolder stems, and serifs are often unbracketed. Bodoni is recognized by its high contrast between thick and thin strokes, pure vertical stress, and hairline serifs. The now used version of Bodoni, was first created by Morris Fuller Benton for American Type Founders, between 1908 and 1915. It brings elegance and sparkle to any graphic image, including headlines, text, and logos.

Bodoni is the definitive Modern typeface. It is crisp, elegant and ageless. Easy and inviting to read, as it has been used from 18th century Italian books to 60’s British newspapers!

A large print of this panel was displayed in Fargo’s West Acres Shopping Center for a few months.


Tools used: FreeHand

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