PCS Blog

Did you know? Exploring Careers in Typos Dream…

Posted by Allyson Walters | 18 September 2014

A Typographer, a stenographer and a geographer walk into a bar...

Typography – from the Greek words typos (impression or cast) and graphie (writing) – is the art and technique of arranging type. Type design is the art of creating typefaces.

·         Typography as a craft has its origins in the first punches and dies used to make seals and currency in ancient times.

·         Perhaps the most widely used typeface, Times New Roman was created for the British newspaper The Times in 1931. It was eventually adopted for use in Microsoft products, starting in 1992 with Windows 3.1.

·         Font paralysis is the inability to finish your project because you can’t decide which font to use.

·         The digital age brought typography into the hands of lay people. Today practically everyone is a typographer, but the art is best left to trained designers who are enjoying increased demand, due in large part to the growth of the Internet. 


Stenography – from the Greek stenos (narrow) and graphie (writing) – is the art or process of writing in shorthand, especially from dictation or oral discourse.

·         A typical shorthand system provides symbols or abbreviations for words and phrases, which allow someone to write as quickly as people speak.

·         A modern day example of shorthand is the myriad letter homophones commonly used in texting, such as btw (by the way) and lol (laugh out loud).

·         The speed of speech varies greatly. The average speaking rate in a TED talk is around 163 words per minute (wpm). The fastest talkers on record reach over 600 wpm.

·         Stenotype keyboards enable trained users to input text as fast at 225 wpm, which is the minimum speed needed to become certified by the National Court Reporters Association.

·         The Stenograph was invented by newspaper reporter Miles Bartholomew and patented in 1879.

·         Today court reporters use stenotype machines, as well as digital recording devices. While audio recording is replacing some court reporters, the outlook is still good for this growing field.



Geography – from the Greek word geographia (earth description) – is the scientific study of the Earth’s surface and its physical features, climate, products and populations.

·         The two major fields of study in geography are physical geography and human geography.

·         The growing influence and rise in prominence of scientific enquiry in Europe was represented in the famous painting, The Geographer, created by Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer in 1668-1669.

·         An important development in the field of geography was the establishment of the common prime meridian as a reference for charts and maps. In 1884, 25 nations met in Washington, D.C. for the International Meridian Conference to select the official prime meridian (0° of longitude), which passes through  the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London.

·         The development of many geographic societies occurred during the 19th century, including the National Geographic Society in 1888.

·         Today geography is a small occupational group, but the number of jobs available nationally is expected to grow faster in the next 10 years than the average growth of all occupations. 


The Typographer's Dream opens October 10 and runs through November 16.

Preview performances begin October 4.



Comments (0)

There are no comments for this entry yet.

Join the conversation!

Portland Center Stage welcomes your comments and criticism.

We invite you to share your comments with us on our Facebook page.


For current and upcoming shows, please see our Season Calendar.

Sign up for the PCS email list.

Season Sponsors