Monday, February 1, 2010

Triggs Reading Response II (p.12-17)

Through the course of this reading it was very inspiring and eye-opening to see what several great designers have done in the realm of experimental typography. From Wolfgang Weingart and Daniel Friedman to April Greiman and Phil Baines I was able to see the wide spectrum of experimentation that took place with all of them as well as the subtle commonalities they share.

Weingart took approaches of 'making by doing' and really worked towards revealing the 'dynamic aspects of the letter form' through manipulation and hand construction. In this respect I feel that you may get a real sense of the letter form due to working with it in such a tactile way.

In very diverse fashions, Daniel Friedman and April Greiman took approaches with interest in the photography realm using type and Greiman also introduced the photographic elements of image. They both took very expressive approaches fracturing the message and stretching legibility.

The work of Katherine McCoy, while at Cranbrook,  was also very enlightening as her and her students approached typography with the idea of establishing meaning through relationships with text and image, as well as a focus on symbolic code, and interpretation by the viewer. McCoy also felt that 'type is to be seen as well as read,' defining that experimental typography develops secondary levels of meaning.

In the reading, I found the most personal interest came from experimentation during the 1990's, specifically from a type designer by the name of Phil Baines. He developed a very subtractive typeface modeled after Clarendon that was reduced to it's bare minimum for recognition. This is also similar, in a way, to McCoy's approach in the sense that at first glance the typeface is seen as abstract and purely formal, however as you examine it you begin to realize they are key recognizable elements of each letter in the alphabet.


As the introduction to the book concludes it brings to light that contemporary type experimentation is not confined to 2 dimensions much like experiments prior, but it can range from the 'implementation of sound and choreography to architectural and virtual space. This idea is proving to be very relevant as I develop my experimental focus; working to combine subtractive form, dimesionality, and interactivity.

Technology has proven to be a large part of experimentation as a driver in adding dimensionality and interactivity. In our day and age technology has opened several avenues including motion  and screen-based animation and interaction.

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