Spring 2009

Golden age?

The digital revolution still fuels a creative explosion in the way type is made and sold. Twelve practitioners take stock of the Zeitgeist

For type design, the current moment is one of profound transformation, a ‘sea-change’ that can be attributed to the cultural context in which design operates, rather than from within the field itself. There are economic forces caused by globalisation; increased complexity in the problems designers confront, making interdisciplinary teamwork necessary; and the digital revolution, with its proliferation of new software and use of information and communications technologies.

Type design has become a global industry where boutique shops shine alongside their larger, more established brethren. It is studied, conservative, historically inspired and exquisitely crafted – and its success requires mastery of the digital tools at our disposal.

We asked twelve practitioners – art directors, type designers, educators – to suggest examples of typefaces that characterise the Zeitgeist in the context of constant software updates and technological innovations, and show some of their nominated fonts here . . .

[Catherine Dixon, Mr Keedy, Nick Bell, Nicole Dotin, Paul Carlos, Sibylle Hagmann, Peter Bil’ak, William Hall, Khoi Vinh, Sean Adams, Mark Thomson and Alfredo Trivino share their thoughts on the state of type today in the printed issue of the magazine.]

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