Monday, December 12, 2011

Typographic current events—“The Font Wall” from the exhibition, “Graphic Design: Now in Production”

The Font Wall from the installation Graphic Design: Now in Production at The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Photograph by versluis, 2011.

Identified top left to right: Base 900: Zuzana Licko, 2010; Akkurat: Laurenz Brunner, 2005; Fayon: Peter Mohr, 2010; Sentinel: Jonathon Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, 2010; Reimin: Morisawa, 2011; LL Brown: Aurèle Sack, 2011; Replica: Norm, 2008. A2FM: Hennik Kubel, 2010; Router: Jeremy Mickel/Village, 2008; Adelle: José Scaglione and Veronika Burian, 2009; Aktiv Grotesk: Fablo Haag and Ron Carpenter, 2010; Mommie: Hubert Jackson, 2007; Buffalo: Ed Benguiat, 2011; Underware: Liza, 2009. Van Lanen: Matthew Carter, 2011; Trilogy: Jeremy Tankard, 2009; Aperçu: The Entente, 2010; History: Peter Bilàk, 2009. Charlie: Ross Milne, 2010; Anchor: Eric Olson, 2010; Questa: Jos Buivenga and Martin Majoor, 2012; Kohinoor: Satya Rajpurohit, 2011; Rumba: Laura Meseguer, 2006; Fugue: Radim Pesko, 2008–2010; Unity: Yomar Augusto, 2010. [1]

Pentagram’s Michael Bierut once compared the design and proliferation of type fonts to that of the endless variety of songs and lyrics that people continue to produce. Bierut’s analogy seems apropos and supports the need for more font designs in order for many people to fulfill their desire for articulacy.

Thirst’s Rick Valicenti recently reflected a similar sentiment about type design in the December issue of Wired magazine that commemorates the legacy of Steve Jobs. In an article commenting on Jobs’ contribution toward font design, Valicenti writes:

“The intuitive operating systems Jobs created have democratized font design. Right now there’s an avalanche of incredibly beautiful typefaces from all over the world that could only be designed on a Mac. Typography, like music, is an art form that embodies a time and place and culture. When type designers plot points on the Mac, they record our moment in time—all in the contour of a letterform.” [2]

I especially appreciate and enjoy Rick’s passage, which is a very lyrical analogy.

  1. Lupton, Ellen. “The Making of Typographic Man.” Graphic Design: Now in Production. Ed. Andrew Blauvelt and Ellen Lupton. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2011. 112-29. Print.
  2. Valicenti, Rick. “The Revolution According to Steve Jobs: Fonts, The Typographer’s Dream.” Wired Dec. 2011: 239. Print.

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