Classical Density vs Contemporary Space

Classical Density is well exemplified in the image below, scanned from the Wall Street Journal.

I believe this is a good example of a classical layout as it contains four different fonts, italic, and regular typefaces, as well as extra decorative borders and dividers (the three stars under the headline).  The typography in this one article is varied, it does not stick to one consistent font. The main title is composed with an italicized typeface that has flowing, calligraphic serifs.  The second smaller title is written in a slightly different serif font, while the authors’ names and the body text are both in two more different kinds of serif fonts.  The composition is also set in justified format, creating a dense rectangular block of text.  All together these create a stoic, stationary example of a classical layout.

Contemporary Space found in the fall 2010 vol. 9 3rd Ward class catalog:

This article is a good example of a contemporary layout.  It only uses two fonts, and uses scale rather than making the typefaces bold to create a visual hierarchy.  The main title and subtitle are both in a sans serif font, while the body text is in a serif font that has very small serifs that are barely noticeable.  The body text is also formatted to create different patterns on the page.  Rather than simply creating rectangles or boxes with the text, they have created diagonal steps, moving up the page.  By creating these different shapes with the body text it creates movement on the page and gives the viewer a sense of vitality.  The vitality of the shapes of the body text are also played off of the large amount of negative space on the pages.  It is this play between text shapes and negative space that make the article contemporary.


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