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I'm interested in any input on this topic. I'm thinking there are two kinds of relationships between political/cultural matters and the formal features of a typeface:
Relationship 1: the formal features emerge directly as a result of political or cultural shifts. I.e., somebody says, "Strip all the ornament, for such matter reflects bourgeois culture." And the typefaces that are designed in response to this call are thus stripped of ornament. Seems to be most common to post- WWI modernism and after. But I know there's more to the story-- going all the way back to Carolingian minuscule you see something like political and cultural imperatives pushing into the world of script design (any "state" mandate to standardize a script would seem to apply here, but also any other kind of cultural call for some new or different formal features).
Relationship 2: People attribute political or cultural perspectives to the type design after or outside the material context in which the design originated. I.e., somebody says, "Let's use this blackletter for our heavy metal band's name, because it looks dark and pointy and scary." These attributions can be made pretty much at random by anyone, with or without connection to historical contexts (see Eva Brumberger's research on "typeface personality"-- neat stuff, but it's all about psychological impressions in the here-and-now).
Any thoughts? Interesting cases? The nationalism/blackletter thing is one obvious example. And I believe Hrant has written some very thoughtful stuff about the problems of Latinization, which is great example of how political/cultural forces have shaped the actual formal features of a script/typeface.