Tracing typefaces

We printed and traced ‘AMB garn’ four different fonts: Garamond, Bodoni, Helvetica and Futura.

Tracing

Garamond and Bodoni are serif fonts. They have high contrast, with thin lines on the left and thick lines on the right, though Bodoni has more contrast. The letters have a slight angle of stress to the left, particularly in the letter a. The serifs on Garamond are longer and the letters are wider, but the kerning is greater than in Bodoni (the serifs on Bodoni’s A and M are so close they are touching). The shape of the serifs was also different: Garamond’s taper off and sometimes look triangular (r and n), which made the letters appear more curved and casual. Bodoni’s serifs actually thickened into a bulb, or were relatively more straight and parallel to the baseline.

Helvetica and Futura are sans serif fonts. Both have no contrast and very thick lines, and there is no angle of stress in the lettering. Helvetica has wider letters and more kerning than Futura does. The thinner letters of Futura make its angles much sharper (in the A and M), which produce a more dramatic effect. The letters are also not as stylized as the serif fonts, particularly in the letter g, and Helvetica is more stylized than Futura in the letter a.

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