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Being this time of the year a slow one for most of us, I'd like to share with you what type design is to me, and maybe have a discussion about it.
Please excuse my English, this may not be written very well.
Since I'm not a full time type designer, nor I have been trained specifically to type design, I'm more pretending to be one than actually being one, at least in the same way many of the fine contributers here are, I can't help to compare this trade with my full time job as a designer in an advertising agency.
Type design had been more and more dear to me for two reasons:
1. Its artisanal quality, because typefaces, lettering, any kind of letter sets, are unique in their own way. They can be done with their own intrinsic issues and problems, not conditioned by any particular, ephemeral, demanded style, which makes them less "superficial objects". Ideally for me they are not market orientated. I know this is wishful thinking since many typefaces are drawn to live in the market place and fulfill corporative and commercial needs, but it seems to me that even those can produce culture value, therefor working on a lower level of visual communication.
2. The second reason is that since typefaces produce cultural value we might conclude that, in type design the matter of Impact on the cultural landscape is more significant than the common design paradigm – Form serves Function.
I'm not saying that making typefaces is more dignified than designing for advertising (though sometimes I'm tempted to think so), but i'd like to ask the professionals of this trade for any thoughts about the type designer trade. What do you like about it? Do you feel it is significant? In what ways it fulfills you? how does type make the world better?