Typography is what we do with type (fonts) and how we work with them with an intention keeping in mind. Like other disciplines of design, it can have a problem solving approach— signage system or information design and an artistic approach where we try to evoke a set of feelings through composition of letter-forms in a certain manner—often referred to as “Experimental Typography”.
A cultural historian might see 1450, the year Johannes Gutenberg, a German printer who invented movable type, as the beginning of the modern printing process where we can see one of the first examples of typography. It was the process of mass production. Text can now be made in quantity, in identical copies and in speed of production.
We have come a long way since then and today the mediums on which typography appears can drastically change the functional requirements: Billboards, train schedules, posters, books, computer screens.