Winter 2002

A mixed bag of digital typefaces (extract)

Type 1 Digital Typeface Design

By Nathan Gale
Laurence King Publishing, £25

There is a finite number of ideas (both formal and conceptual) in contemporary type design, and if Nathan Gale’s recent survey is anything to go by, that number is becoming smaller rather than larger. On first examination there is a homogenisation present that makes the collected typefaces seem both familiar and predictable, with many typefaces sharing the same idea, and many formal devices repeated across a number of different ideas. On closer inspection, there are also clever, sophisticated and well crafted typefaces hidden in the pages of Type 1. Gale’s book is an accurate reflection of the state of current type design: a lot of predictable designs and a few exceptional ones . . .

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