Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Meanings of Type

I read the article "The meanings of type" and it gives a little more historical reference and meaning to designers if they have ever wondered why specific typefaces are chosen for assignments or pieces, or why we are “drawn” to some typefaces rather than others. These two quotes sum it up for me: "type design and typography are routinely informed by conscious and unconscious contexts that change with time." This is how our conscience knows which elements of a design work together. For example it gives the historical context of blackletter and psychedelic type and contemporary designers of today know these types send messages subconsciously because they were used for Nazi design and “free love” movements.  The Espers image is a good example of contemporary design using 60’s type that works because it promotes a Folk Film Festival in Philadelphia. “Practical and commercial motivations prevail but social and political rationales are never far away" is the second quote that I think serves a clear message. You have to think about the product and “making it sell” but the social and political references you might be making by choosing typefaces is also important and you don’t want to send mixed messages. That is also why it is important to be universal because different cultures see things differently.

Source: eyemagazine.com, Issue 50, article author Steven Heller, image: www.espers.org

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