type3kcad

This blog was established for the Typography 3 students of Kendall College of Art + Design.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bodoni versus Didot

those of you who are taking History of Graphic Design this semester with Sheardy will recognize this.

He spoke last week about the differences between Bodoni and Didot and posed a theory that I had previously not been aware of... He said that Didot stole Giambattista Bodoni's typeface - as it was quite common for thieves to steal cast letters and sell them - and used them as the base for his own typeface. there are of course several variances between the two, and both type designers were working at the same time. so is it possible that this holds true?

I tried to do a little online research and found this article that is somewhat interesting, despite the several grammatical errors.

here are the type example images found on wikipedia:



I can't believe I'm about to type this... but I think that Sheardy might have exaggerated the situation slightly. what does everyone else think?

9 Comments:

At 8:24 AM, Blogger mary said...

It is hard to say what really happened. But from the looks of it they could have just changed enough to make it look different.

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Yeah. I think so too. There's enough differences in it to warrant a different name, however, if the original plates were sold by Bodoni's wife, doesn't that mean that it was, in actuality, free intellectual property? Wouldn't it be true that Bodoni's wife was in the wrong, and not the creator of Didot?

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger nicole said...

Wait i thought it was Garamond's wife that sold the plates. I think Bodoni just got fleeced by Didot. A little typographical espionage. Personally they don't do much for me and I don't usually use either font, but can respect the alternate lifestyles of those who do.

 
At 2:11 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Really? Shoot, I'm getting my type designers mixed up. Rrrg.

 
At 2:57 PM, Blogger .Nicole.R. said...

I too think that Sheardy exaggerated just a tad. After comparing the two typefaces together I dont think that Didot exactly copied Bodoni. Maybe he just admired Bodoni's work sooooo much that he wanted to be just like him. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger laura said...

I think that they type faces vary enough to merit different names. One could have derived from the other but to say that Bodoni was copied seems to be a bit of a stretch.
The whole story makes me think of a Picasso quote, "Bad artists copy. Good artists steal."
Although I don't think he meant that LITERALLY...it's kinda funny how it applies in this situation.

 
At 8:42 PM, Blogger k.deyoung said...

its amazing how similar these fonts do look. the subtle differences are important though. a typeface has to start somewhere, but maybe inspiration went too far.

 
At 8:43 PM, Blogger k.deyoung said...

its amazing how similar these fonts do look. the subtle differences are important though. a typeface has to start somewhere, but maybe inspiration went too far.

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger Mike said...

its amazing how alike these fonts do look. the small differences are important though. a typeface must start somewhere, but maybe inspiration went a little too far.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home