An open, collaborative index of Chinese typographic resources consisting of typefaces, bibliographic resources, and conceptual terminology
Caspar Lam Assistant Professor of Communication Design Parsons School of Design
YuJune Park Assistant Professor of Communication Design Parsons School of Design
Within Chinese typography, the lack of common reference points and conceptual frameworks have made it difficult for students and designers to understand this area of design. To address this gap, the Chinese Type Archive was launched at the start of 2020 as an open, collaborative index of Chinese typographic resources consisting of typefaces, bibliographic resources, and conceptual terminology. Conceived as a purpose-built resource dedicated to bridging and creating cross-cultural connections between Chinese and Latin typography, the Archive provides easier access to hard-to-find typographic material through linked data, lists of previously unnamed historic typefaces, and tracking of evolving conceptual terminology. In its origin, the project reflects a broader wave of renewed interest in Chinese typography from practitioners over the last decade. The first phase of the project began with a seed collection of data, university and design organization funding, and several rounds of technical iteration before its beta launch.
Now, one year later online, we present our continued progress with the project with reflections on community feedback and the project’s iterative methodology. These have led to new insights on barriers-to-entry, the cataloguing process, and the formation of online communities with networked, crowdsourced knowledge. Beyond the immediate impact on the discussion of global typography, the project has raised new questions on how designers should conceive of typography. In addition, the project has tangible ramifications on our idea of collections as a way of creating new sources of design knowledge that can engage designers at any level: student, professional, educator, and researcher. The insights gained from this case study has direct ramifications on design pedagogy and practice, particularly in how the acts of collecting and cataloguing can be powerful methods for learning, contextualization, and critical making.
Contemporary type design history of emulating hand manipulation of a brush.
Ryan Molloy Professor Eastern Michigan University
Single-line fonts—also known as engraving fonts, pen plotter fonts, and stick fonts—have a long history ranging from architectural hand drafting to use on pen plotters and engraving devices. As applications of digital fabrication—cnc milling, 3D printing, laser engraving, pen plotters, and craft cutters—have become more commonplace the demand for single line fonts has increased. Majority of the fonts produced and used today are outline fonts, enclosed and filled vector graphic forms. In contrast, a single-line font is composed solely of single vector lines (not enclosed). In applications of digital fabrication the use of single-fonts significantly reduces production time because machine paths are not duplicated.
Contemporary type design has long had a history of emulating the contrasting strokes created through hand manipulation of a brush. The increased demand from maker communities for single-line fonts has led to the development and commercialization of new single-line fonts or tools to convert outline fonts into single-line fonts. However, despite the traditions of type design and the movements of the machine allowing the potential to mimic traditional form of lettering most single-line fonts are designed only for a constant stroke weight. This presentation will showcase a number of personal typographic experiments and typefaces created in an attempt to find novel solutions and applications to the design of single-line fonts. From pen plotters, to engraving, to the creation of letterpress wood type, and drawing inspiration from calligraphy to graffiti the work seeks to ask how can we further reinsert the hand into digital writing.
The first phase of a research project to develop and find the place of the emerging technologies in typography
Taekyeom Lee Assistant Professor Illinois State University
and design have been in a symbiotic relationship, and the demand for the
typography with 3D printing has already arrived. Like the digital revolution
with the introduction of personal computers generated radical changes in
typography, the new digital fabrication techniques urge designers and educators
to embrace the new possibilities. As 3D printing has become more refined,
efficient, and accessible, what designers can do with the new printing technology?
This project is the first phase of a research project to develop and find the
place of the emerging technologies in typography.
Designers can use a variety of printing techniques to produce visual materials and to solve visual problems. 3D printing can change the notion of printed text and how we experience materialized type since the tangible type does not lie on the static surface or live on-screen as a mirrored image. 3D printed tangible type acquires characteristics such as dimension, structure, materiality, and even physical interactivity. For this project, various conventional and unconventional materials in 3D printing were used to explore both the challenges and potential for typography. 3D printed tangible type not only amplified visual but physical interactions. The tangible type provides engaging tactile experiences, which would be more intuitive, expressive, and memorable. It also became relatively challenging to ensure the legibility of the written text and write a long text. More investigations should be followed as the technology will get more refined. This project could be inspirational for both professional practices and educational settings, such as typography, graphic design, and digital fabrication courses. As the outcome provides three-dimensional experience and substance, a new application of this design could be used for spatial typography and developed for people with vision impairment.
A panel discussion among design innovators about their design and use of type in today’s changing environment.
Saturday, November 9, 2019 2pm–4pm Type Directors Club 347 W 36th St., #603 New York, NY 10018
Typeface design and the implementation of typography has never been more exciting. In many cases, type is presented on monitors, tiny and huge electronic visual displays, i.e., screens. In collaboration with the Type Directors Club, Design Incubation will moderate a panel discussion among design innovators about their design and use of type in today’s changing environment.
Liz DeLuna St John’s University
Dan Wong New York City College of Technology, CUNY
Walk through the process of project creation to meet learning outcomes, evaluation of success, and mapping outcomes to student learning.
Andrea Hempstead Assistant Professor Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
No matter your design school pedagogy, the need for
defined and executed assessment and student learning outcomes is important for
institutional and programmatic accreditation. This can seem a daunting task for
most educators, and particularly so for those teaching in creative disciplines.
When academics hear “assessment” and “learning outcomes” they often become
angry. This anger, is often fueled by fear that the “institution” is trying to
control classrooms, or worse, justify teaching positions and approaches.
Ultimately, these institutional measures have the best interests of the student
at heart. Done correctly, assessment and defined student learning outcomes help
to guide instructors to create and revise curriculum to meet student needs and
are flexible enough to allow for unique classroom experiences.
Assessment models favor a tiered approach to learning.
Typically, there are touch points throughout curriculum where student learning
outcomes are introduced, reinforced and mastered. Ideally, outcomes are not
addressed solely in one course, but built upon as the student learns and
progresses through the program. Once developed and implemented, these learning outcomes
can be assessed to evaluate where student learning could be improved, but also
can reinforce successes and program strengths. Additionally, program
assessments can serve as documentation to reinforce the
need for program funding to improve areas of weakness. Assessment documents can
serve as justification for improved facilities, software purchases or even
This case study walks through the process of project creation and implementation to meet course student learning outcomes, evaluation of student success regarding course outcomes, and mapping these outcomes to how program student learning outcomes are introduced, reinforced and mastered. Assessment of the project includes analyzing student course outcomes and progression of overall program student learning.
A synthesized, inductive approach using Itten’s contrast of extension and Albers’s experimental color studies in application to the visual gestalt of typography.
Jeanne Criscola Assistant Professor Central Connecticut State University
Much has been theorized about the transformation of communication from cave paintings to written language and how humans employing materials and technologies impacted their evolution. In 1493, Johannes Gutenberg’s technologies marked a milestone for communication and its distribution with the mechanization of movable type printing. The transition from hot type that went obsolete in the 1950s, to cold type that met its demise around 1985 with desktop publishing, was short-lived. Now, digital typesetting technologies offering myriad configurations of size, font, and layout—in seemingly infinite spectrums of color—present limitless opportunities for the practice of communication design.
This fusion of type and color presents challenges for
pedagogy and discourse in the fields of typography and color where they have
historically been considered separately in books and in coursework. In typography
books, examples typically use letterforms in varying degrees of sizes and
contrast to demonstrate colors’ influence on legibility. In books on color theory,
the properties of color are often demonstrated with pie-shaped diagrams, color wheels,
grids, and in continuous bands. Each pedagogy falls short of modeling today’s communication
technologies where typography and color are intrinsic, inseparable, and synergistic.
Methodologies that facilitate the study of typography and
color in context and in situ would be welcome by educators and professionals
alike. For educators, infusing color theory into the study of typography has
advantages for curriculum and course development. For the design student,
learning color theory with letterforms integrates their study and practice.
This paper sets out to initiate a synthesized, inductive approach using Johannes Itten’s contrast of extension and Joseph Albers’s experimental color studies in application to the visual gestalt of typography.
Love Type More Than Ever!
Save on the Type Drives Culture Conference!
Tickets Now Reduced 20%
The theme of this year’s Type Drives Culture Conference is Type: More ______ Than Ever. Our interactive theme prompts presenters and conference attendees to fill in the blank about the present and future of type.
Type is more global than ever, more accessible than ever, and
more exciting than ever. This one-day conference brings together
designers and thinkers to share their diverse backgrounds, perspectives,
and opinions through provocative talks and panel discussions.
Rich Tu, the vice president of design for MTV, will serve
as the master of ceremonies for an exciting day, featuring our keynote
speaker type designer/educator and TDC Medalist Fiona Ross.
Other award-winning designers presenting during the day include E Roon Kang, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Wael Morcos, Natasha Jen, design reporter Anne Quito of Quartz, Yotam Hadar, and Ksenya Samarskaya.
Among the day’s highlights will be a live-taping of Debbie Millman’s influential podcast Design Matters, where she will interview Kris Holmes of Bigelow & Holmes.
We will also have a panel discussion with Dan Rhatigan of Adobe Fonts, Irin Kim of Google Fonts, and Charles Nix of Monotype moderated by Juliette Cezzar, and two other panels that you won’t want to miss, moderated by Jason Pamentel and Gloria Kondrup of the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography in Pasadena.
Tickets include a two-hour reception with the speakers.
An exciting series of workshops about Arabic lettering is being offered at the Type Directors Club. This latest episode, participants will select important public signs from New York and will proceed to create the Arabic counterpart.
Kristyan Sarkis and Wael Morcos will be sharing their skills as type designers and graphic designers, teaching the main parameters that define the Arabic script and letterforms.
Samantha Flora Co-Founder and Designer JAM Studios and Fat Kid Type Foundry
Centered around issues of identity, the body, womanhood, and how they interconnect with design in the context of body image and the body positivity movement, Body Type: An Analysis of Fat Identity and Fat Bias in Graphic Design, is an extensive body of research which connects type, design, and the body through humanistic tradition.
In addition to a brief overview of the research, presenter will discuss Body Type—a typeface based on her own bodily proportions, which seeks to interject the fat female form into an industry where fat bodies have been marginalized by practice. It is a story of radical self-acceptance that seeks to redefine what self-love means to the modern woman and how that change can be—and should be, shaped by design.