22 March 2009

TYPE4: type conference development!

brainstorm a list of theme names and decide on a few favorites to share with the class. if your name is esoteric in some way, consider a descriptive tagline that aids understanding.

Typography & Modularity
Morphing the Typeface
The Evolving Typeface
Keep/Break: Working with the Grid
Typography and the Grid
Grid-Based Type
Modular Type
Liquid Grids
Stretch & Squish Type Con
GridAlter: Transforming the Common Typeface

write a concise and clear paragraph describing what your theme encompasses. this will appear on major conference materials and should be written in a way that generates excitement about the event.

Tired of that same old typeface? Is your Font Book lacking in fresh cuts? Modulography will introduce a whole new world of typographic manipulation, all based within the parameters of grid structuring and modularity. From three-dimensional experimenting to evolving a typeface from a simple sans to a hunchbacked and hobbled version of itself, this conference is based around process, developing new ideas to arrive at new answers to the ongoing typographic question, and deepening an understanding of legibility within manipulated type. Featuring speakers like Wolfgang Weingart discussing the transformative breakout from a strict Swiss grid, and other designers devoted to the progressive nature of typographic readability, this is a type conference to get designers thinking. If you’ve been stuck in a rut, here’s the opportunity to break out of the box… literally.

refine your designer and bio from a few weeks ago. this person will serve as your keynote speaker for the conference. you can use the bio as content for your conference materials.

Wolfgang Weingart: the link between classic Swiss Typography and contemporary postmodern design

Wolfgang Weingart, born in the midst of WWII Germany, is credited as the “father” of New Wave Typography. Weingart took Swiss Typographic style, and later in life “blew it apart, never forcing any style upon [his] students.” It apparently just happened that the students under him picked it up, and misinterpreted, the so-called ‘Weingart Style’, and faithfully spread it around.

He began his typographic career in the early 1960’s as an apprentice of hand composition at a typesetting firm. He then moved on to the Basel School of Design in Switzerland, to further his studies, where he attempted to develop his skills in classical Swiss typography. Armin Hoffmann, the then-head of the school, admired Weingart’s work in Basel, and asked him to teach there. Since beginning as a design teacher, he has made a huge impact on the contemporary typographic landscape.

Weingart is not known for rejecting the basic principles of Swiss typography, which emphasize right angled grid structures, use of white space as an active design element, readability, and objective communication of information. Instead he is recognized for pushing these boundaries into completely new territory, developing richly textural posters and typographic experiments, which were expressive and intuitive, rather than objective. He didn’t understand why design had moved toward the tendency to present typography in a completely objective and “value-free” manner. He pointed out that despite designers’ efforts to present information in a clear, neutral tone, most content still has subjective or otherwise emotional connotations for the viewer.

He realized that humans have a basic fundamental need for aesthetics and psychological stimulus, so his designs communicated in a way that fit those needs but are also based out of reason and logic. Weingart used typography in a way that could better express the content’s meaning, and in turn sacrificed pure articulate legibility for more visual interest and appeal. He believed that certain graphic modifications of type can in fact intensify meaning. He once said, “What’s the use of being legible, when nothing inspires you to take notice of it?”

“Weingart’s work is characterized by his painterly application of graphical and typographical elements. The emotionally-charged lines, the potent, image-like qualities of his type, the almost cinematic impact of his layouts, all speak of his great passion of creating with graphical forms. His typographic layouts are compelling yet lucid, free yet controlled. Some of his personal work is almost akin to landscape paintings, only that his paintbrush is replaced by type, rules and screens. He doesn’t seem to perceive a divide between fine art and typography.” -Keith Tam

Weingart took a strict rule set for typography and learned to embrace it as a diving board into so many new arenas for typographical experimentation. He did not turn away from the prominent style, and try to create something out of nothing, but expanded upon a solid, tried-and-true method, and in that way, his results were so much more lush and captivating.


Morgan Ashley Allen said...

ha! some of your titles crack-me-up. after talking to tyler today about descriptions, i think yours is really great. the best descriptions are a more persuasive than practical, so yours rocks -"literally". love it. i think we should roll with it and evolve from that. i can contribute my breakout session and discussion topics to the mash-up, but you're wording is right on the money.

it will be interesting to see how we can combine our practices together.

let me know what you think.

thenewprogramme said...

the weingart bio is about three times too long. much shorter. but it's very well written and informative. just keep in mind that a bio is usually only one component of a larger selection of writing to appear on any given artifact.

i don't have a problem at all if you utilize all three bios in some form/fashion. it may give you a good amount of content to plug into your pieces, but it's your call how you want to handle that.