Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Monday, 29 March 2010
Sunday, 28 February 2010
Hand Drawn Typography- Fad or the future?
I would like to explore and research into an area of typography which is a particular interest of mine, handmade typography, inspired by the book “Hand Job” by Michael Perry. I would like to look at handmade typography in a historical context, discuss it in relation to past theories and typographic movements, discuss whether is it a visually effective form of typography, and if it has any particular benefits. I would also like to see why designers are reverting back to handmade typography, look at at examples of hand drawn typographers, and see how transferrable this form of typography is to commercial graphic design and advertising.
- Introduction. In the digital age that we are now in, most graphic design and typography is computer produced. Recently, however there has been a growth in designers reverting back to pen and paper methods, to create new, fresh and completely hand drawn typography. Whether this is just a trend, or a significant design movement for the future, I would like to investigate and explore the qualities, methods and applications of hand drawn typography.
- History. Look at hand drawn type in the context of the history of typography. All typography begun with handwriting before moving onto letterpress. This made knowledge and information easily transferrable, made hand drawn type unnecessary. Created speed and consistency in typography, something you didn’t have before. Led to strict structure and rules in typography, Swiss style, grid etc.
- Discuss revelations of Apple Mac in 1984, type of rules it broke. What it redefined, what it meant for typography. Legibility not necessary anymore. In some ways allowed typography to start over again and redefine itself, made more room for experimental and hand drawn typography for the future.
- Form, Function, Neutrality. Discuss sterile type qualities of typography now digitally produced by computers. Although Apple Mac created a lot of freedom, typography has reverted back to modernist qualities in some cases, e.g Helvetica. Modernists believed that form followed function. Typefaces should not detract from copy, or be ornamental. Should be neutral, transparent. Discuss Beatrice Warde, Douglas C.McMurtrie. In this case, a lot of computer generated typefaces are very bland. They may be readable but are they interesting to look at or striking?
- Revert back to Weingart’s quote: “What's the use of being legible when nothing inspires you to take notice of it?". Has typography become too bland, too invisible, too digitalised, too impersonal and cold? Is this why hand drawn typography is now being used? Stefan Sagmeister has been quite outspoken on this subject, famously inscribing typography into his own skin. Look at his views on the subject.
- Qualities and Uses of Hand drawn typography. Look into other designers views on hand drawn typography. Why do they use it? What do they like about it? What are the visual qualities of it?
- Is hand drawn typography purely ornamental or does it have commercial uses? Where has it been used in the industry and has it been successful?
- Conclusion, What does the future hold for handmade typography. Is handmade typography just a trend or a rebellion against the Apple Mac and the digital era. Does it have any real future in the design industries?
Hand Job- A Catalog of Type, Michael Perry 2007.
Handwritten: Expressive Lettering in the Digital Age, Steven Heller 2006.
Type and Typography, Phil Baines & Andrew Haslam 2005.