Autumn 2000

Read me! Parts 1 and 2

Lucienne Roberts
Polemic [EXTRACT]

Typographic experimentation cannot emerge without an understanding of language. Yet ‘relativist’ debates within the profession have extended to the way graphic design is taught, particularly with regard to literacy. Are we heading towards a state of ‘institutionalised ignorance’?

Read me! Part 1. Literacy in graphic design
Seen in isolation, an en dash is a rectangle – a full stop is a circle. When placed with other characters they take on specific functions, they add to meaning. Combinations of characters and spaces are the visual representation of our attempt at precise communication: language. If literacy and mass communication are cornerstones of democracy then graphic designers have a significant part to play. Since type is one of the essential elements of mass communication typography, too, is an essential component of democracy.

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