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Typeface Diversity: More

June 22, 2010

So, I really think I articulated my interest quite well oin the last post: it seems to me that found typography and some of these high design books have this formal quality in common: a chaotic approach to typography. And it seems a little strange to me, and interesting, and let’s maybe study this “trend” or whatnot.

I really mangled the presentation today, so I am sort of curious to see if this idea was clear, though based on a number of reactions referring to the arbitrariness of the subject matter, I think it did come off as clear.

Ashwin pointed out something I had quite brazenly glossed over: the + narrative/-narrative issue. The cityscape has definitely a +narrative aspect to it, if only because you are walking through space and your eyes focus on one thing then another. And these high design books with this sort of chaotic typography (look, Max, I am already totally transitioning to your terminology!) all seem to be design books with discrete articles. I don’t care much that they’re design books but it is a little bit of an issue that the articles are discrete, I’d say.

So I don’t know. I’m just so worn out and I’d love to talk more with someone about this, but tough.

What’s tough is also it’s hard to get a sense of other design theses. Turns out googling design thesis is not nearly as productive as one might expect in this day and age. Especially since Skyler hinted that Sandie Maxa had done a thesis on a topic quite similar to mine; her and Mark Sanders are in Cyprus right now and I’d really rather not hassle them with email, but I haven’t been able to find any sort of record of it online.

Meanwhile, Jean got my hopes up, saying that some new book on found typography was coming out soon, and I think it’s by Denise Crisp Gonzales (or the other way around?) but I haven’t been able to find any such book or mention thereof.

So I don’t know. I honestly am not even sure what to google to see other work in this zone. More and more, though, I think recent research is mostly useless except maybe possibly as inspiration and to just straight up check that what you’re doing hasn’t been addressed in exactly the same way before. You just need to visually research and read a few classics. Or a lot, if you’re me, and have a chip on your shoulder about Walter Benjamin. Sigh.

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