Media The Age Of Typography Began With Essay

Length: 5 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Education - Computers Type: Essay Paper: #80560545 Related Topics: Memes, Age Of Enlightenment, Media Influence, Media
Excerpt from Essay :

Media

The age of typography began with the Enlightenment and flourished in the New World, and coincided with significant social, political, and economic changes. As Postman (2005) points out in Amusing Ourselves to Death, Protestants with a predilection toward intellectualism made books and reading integral to American life. "The influence of the printed word in every arena of public discourse was insistent and powerful not merely because of the quantity of printed matter but because of its monopoly," (Postman, 2005, p. 41). In other words, print had a monopoly on information, communication, and the exchange of ideas. Print became endowed with a level of political and social significance that it does not have in the digital age, as there are now multiple modes of information exchange. When printed matter was all there was, the very ideals of democracy depended on it.

During the typographic age, content was meaningful as well as rational. Readers and writers were engaged in a dialectic, which stimulated intellectual life. This was even true for religious discourse, which comprised a fairly large portion of writing and intellectualism in pre-Industrial America. All major universities were, after all, founded by religious organizations. The connection between religion and intelligence is much less apparent today than it was several centuries ago. Religion, intellect, and public discourse were all entwined due to the supremacy of print. The manifest content of sermons would have actually been intellectual and thoughtful in tone, unlike the emotional drivel that guides sermons in the age of television (Postman, 2005, p. 56).

Reading itself was like a sacred act during the typographic age (Postman, 2005, p. 61). Without electricity, Americans would devote time and eye strain to reading. The supremacy of print led to the belief in and support of universal education. Although Postman (2005) does not delve too deeply into race and gender implications, it can easily be seen that

...

Slaves were prevented from reading precisely because reading was a form of political empowerment.

Furthermore, the age of print media impacted legal discourse in America. The act of writing is essentially rational and legalistic. Print depends on critical engagement and logical flow. Postman (2005) points out that unlike today, in the typographic age the average literate American would have been able to read legal documents. There was an elevated level of discourse for all readers, because reading was the only means by which to share ideas and advance one's intellect. The typographic age was one that was devoted to logic and reason, yielding a culture that was more thoughtful than it is today. Now, America is an image-centered society that is several steps removed from logic and reason.

Postman traces the origin of the image centered society to the first placement of advertisements in newspapers. Suddenly blocks of space once reserved only for text were taken up by advertisements. Next, the advent of telegraphy transformed intellectual discourse, public life, and cultural norms. Telegraphy changed the nature of discourse. Information was instantaneous, cut into small bits. More importantly for the evolution of media, telegraphy turned information into a "commodity," a "thing" that could be bought, sold, and shared" "irrespective of its meaning," (Postman, 2005, p. 65). This transformation was highly meaningful to American society. Reading was no longer a sacred activity. Information was no longer delivered in long and thoughtful exposition. Brevity became normative, as did the commercialization of information that flourished during the dawn of television.

Telegraphy first showed how information could be commodified and decontextualized, and television would take that pattern to an extreme. Television led to significant changes in language and discourse. For one, television was characterized by "fragmented and discontinuous language," because things have to move fast, even on a presumably intellectual show (Postman, 2005, p. 90). Second, television pre-empted thinking because "thinking does not play well on television," (Postman, 2005, p. 90). There is nothing to "see" when a person thinks, and seeing is the primary objective of television. As Postman (2005) puts it, television demands performance art even of intellectual items. This reality has had a deep impact on politics. Politicians need to come across well on television; they need to be like actors. It does not matter what a person says or how thoughtful or rational they are. What matters is their ability to entertain and…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Dewey, C. (2014). What makes some internet memes immortal. The Washington Post. 10 Nov, 2014. Retrieved online: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/11/10/what-makes-some-internet-memes-immortal/

Postman, N. (2005). Amusing Ourselves to Death. New York: Penguin.

Sternberg, J. (2013). Technology today: What would Neil Postman think? Retrieved online: http://www.spinedu.com/technology-today-neil-postman-think/#.VGGC9_Q49oA


Cite this Document:

"Media The Age Of Typography Began With" (2014, November 10) Retrieved January 26, 2022, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/media-the-age-of-typography-began-with-2153611

"Media The Age Of Typography Began With" 10 November 2014. Web.26 January. 2022. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/media-the-age-of-typography-began-with-2153611>

"Media The Age Of Typography Began With", 10 November 2014, Accessed.26 January. 2022,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/media-the-age-of-typography-began-with-2153611

Related Documents
Typography Research Most Human Languages
Words: 1329 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Teaching Paper #: 62606731

In this crucial first printing development, a raised, reversed image of each letter could be hand-set, placing each word side by side, into a frame that held the combined pieces. Ink was applied to the raised letters and a sheet of paper placed over them and pressed down. This reverse stamp created a correct mirror image on the paper of the desired text. When enough copies were printed, the

Revolution of Typography on the
Words: 2034 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Education - Computers Paper #: 92472312

This means that designers do not have the ultimate control, as they have had for centuries in other printed matter. The user now has the ultimate control, and they can alter the aspects of a Web page at the click of a mouse. Internet typography has evolved from very simple fonts and colors on a plain background, to intensely graphic and easy to navigate Web sites that draw the user

Ben & Jerry's: A Strategic Marketing Plan
Words: 3643 Length: 12 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 92555240

Ben & Jerry's: A Strategic marketing plan Ben & Jerry's the international leader in handcrafted ice cream with a social conscious is analyzed in this strategic marketing report. Developed on an integrated public-private business prospectus, the Company set the tone for trailblazing product and brand identity configurations with an ethic of social responsibility and global sustainability long before it was customary. Although now subsidiary to the products and services giant, Unilever, Ltd.

Art Nouveau: Art, Architecture and
Words: 3101 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Art  (general) Paper #: 62151877

To be sure, under the label Art Nouveau, there resides a long list of diverse artistic styles, from two dimensional arts to constructive and geometrical arts. Art Nouveau was an important architectural movement, inspired by the inherent patterns of nature. For example, C.F.A. Voysey's textile prints showcase plant forms in free curves, while Christopher Dresser's design philosophy stemmed from his knowledge of botany. Aubrey Beardsley (1872-98) is famous for his

Graphic Design Vs. Illustrator
Words: 994 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Art  (general) Paper #: 65127919

Life as a graphic designer vs. An illustrator 'What can you do with an art degree?' This is a common question asked of students who major in studio art or who get an MFA (Masters of Fine Arts). However, there are many professions which allow artists to create art and make a living. Two of these professions are that of a graphic designer and an illustrator. These professions share the

Weddings by Alice Web Site Evaluation This
Words: 2870 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Education - Computers Paper #: 81564203

Weddings by Alice Web Site Evaluation This paper reviews a wedding planner's website, Weddings by Alice, located at this URL: http://www.weddingsbyalice.com/. The review covers architecture as well as design elements, including site organization, navigation, page layout, and graphic content. Our analysis also discusses effective design principles, and we cite examples where they were followed and where they were not. Throughout the paper we make a series of suggestions for improvement.