Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Article that Stood out

Type Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Jessica Helfand

This article is important to the design community because it explains how design students need to learn about the history of typography. One should pick out a typeface based on aesthetic appeal because beauty is in the eye in the beholder but also one should look at the cultural, intellectual, critical, and history.

She discussed about how she was looking at several design students portfolios’ and noticed something that they all had in common; they used futura, a lot. She asked them why they used it with their projects and their responses were basically that they either “just liked it” and they didn’t exactly knew how it related to their project. She let the readers know that the designer needs to know that it’s not just the look of the type but how it identifies with the topic you’re designing for.

6 main points..

· I was concerned that she was about to graduate and had no fundamental knowledge of design history — a failure of the curriculum, and by conjecture, of the faculty.”

· Clearly, designers make choices about the appropriateness of type based on any number of criteria, and "liking it" is indeed one of them.”

· typography should be invisible, while an equal argument can (and should) be made on behalf of expressive typography — type that extends and amplifies its message through more robust gestures in form, scale and composition.”

· “In general, we like to be able to read our typography.”

· Branding and identity designers have to do it all — their task involves orchestrating visual language so that, say, the same word is recognizable whether reduced to a website icon, printed on a business card or emblazoned on the side of a truck.”

· need to know — not just the formal and technical conventions but the cultural, intellectual, critical and yes, historical context in which hundreds of years of typographic practice preceded them.”

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