Future of Type

Cody's picture

For a while now I have been pondering a question. It may be stupid but it is also interesting to think about and I wanted to see what response the typographic community may have to it.

Do you guys think that this century will see the invention of a completely new classification of type? That is to say a mainstream type class that is not Serif or Sans or Script, something truly new that could not be classified as anything seen before in type? Or do you think that typography has branched out as far as it will and will not see anything entirely unseen before?

It is interesting for me to think about because I cannot fathom a way that type could be drastically different without becoming a new alphabet and yet it is difficult for me to believe that it could not be done.

Perhaps this will pose an interesting question for some of you, maybe it has been asked before or it could be just the simplistic pondering of an ignorant student. Either way I would love to hear some responses. :)

eliason's picture

There's some similar talk here.

typerror's picture

We are seeing new "type" all the time. Variations on a theme, mind you, but still new. And there is nothing wrong with that!

Michael

Cody's picture

Yes thank you that is quite similar. However Many of the ideas there do not exactly fit with my question. I guess my question has more to do with the possibility of having something completely remote from anything before.

Perhaps it is just my naivety as a young designer but I find the thought of something completely new and completely different quite exciting. Yet on the other hand it seems quite daunting to imagine something so far removed from everything that has evolved into the various type classifications we have today. On one hand It seems that everything we have can be traced back in history to various points of origin and it is difficult to imagine the creation of type without drawing from the past. On the other hand however I cant help looking at artists like Jackson Pollock and wondering if I will see a time when typography takes such a turn. This does not necessarily mean that I think it may take an abstract turn, just a turn in a completely new direction that no one has addressed yet.

dezcom's picture

Naming and classification of type has long been practiced in sort of an after-the-fact way. First, someone creates a variation on the norm which is different enough to be noticed. In the conversations that follow among type afficionados, a new name comes about as a way to mark the new breed. Afterwards, there are variations on that form and then discussions evolve to decide if these variations belong to that genre or not. You can find numerous threads here online with posters arguing nuances of definition. As long as there are people with a keen enough interest to care about the flavors of type, there will be new names and new arguments to define or reject a definition of a type classification. Enjoy the rhetoric; peruse the analytic dialogue; nitpick your exacting set of stipulations but fear not, there will be more to come:-)
Yes, there will be something beyond "neohumanist sans".

ChrisL

typerror's picture

“neohumanist sans”.

Thanks for the tip Chris. I am tired of the Republicans and Democrats. Your suggestion sounds like a great political affiliation... Do they have a website and/or a candidate?

Michael

Cody's picture

Michael, I know there are always new typefaces and new styles of type all the time and there is definitely nothing wrong with that. I guess what I am wondering about is the possibility of a new classification of type.

I guess I imagine the evolution of type as something like the evolution of animals. With different branches, each resulting from variations of earlier branches of type with each branch continuing to evolve into various subcategories and so on. So with all of typography being the all encompassing top of the chain and the various writing systems below that. So i have begun to wonder if it is possible within our writing system to create a new classification without it evolving from something else. If we might see the creation of a new kingdom in the taxonomy of type so to speak.

Though I admit this idea might be a bit far out there I find it an interesting train of thought.

typerror's picture

"Perhaps it is just my naivety as a young designer but I find the thought of something completely new and completely different quite exciting."

p.s. Even as an old designer, like Chris, you will find the same thing :-)

Michael

typerror's picture

Go for it Cody... break new ground.

Michael

Cody's picture

Chris, I just think it would be interesting to have something so different that the only thing it could be classified as would be type.

Michael, I could not even begin to start to imagine how to accomplish such a thing. Not to say its not worth trying.

dezcom's picture

Michael,
They don't post their web site out of their firewall. They are so hip they don't want to be copied :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Cody,
As my young friend Michael says, I am an old fart. I still like to see the envelope pushed and hope you will keep trying yourself.
Personally, I ignore classifications other than just having some fun with my friends who love that sort of thing. I just design type without trying to make it either fit or not fit a classification. I feel more comfortable approaching form as naively as possible and solving structural problems that come about. I do have a great deal of interest in how the finished product is meant to function so categories like text, display, and signage do mean a lot to me.
My only advice to you is to allow your typeface to be what it is and not just try to will it to be different. It may or may not be seen as groundbreaking by others but you have no control over that anyway. Just make type and let the categories fall where they may.

ChrisL

typerror's picture

Chris

If they are a non-promoting group then they are neohumanist sans support :-)

Michael

malcolm's picture

The design of type evolves. It's unlikely anything so new and radical will just 'appear' overnight and then stick arround. Often when a type designer comes up with something really radical it is forgotten very quickly, usually because it is not part of the accepted course of natural type design development.

Malcolm

Don McCahill's picture

I would suggest that the last major revision in type design was the grunge movement, where type was made to emulate old, worn-out metal or wood type. That didn't seem as broad as you suggest ... something that is neither sans or serif, but something else entirely.

Like others, I would be interested to see something else, but until someone actually develops it, no one will be able to predict it.

Cristobal Henestrosa's picture

What Don said. When someone comes with the new one thing, everybody will say: “This is great! Why I never figured it out, if it is so obvious?” Until that day, we can only dream about it, but our horizons are constrained to what we know now: a neohumanist sans could be hardly imagined by a Renaissance printer.

In short: it will come, but we don’t know how or when.

Cristobal Henestrosa's picture

Or even worse: the new style can be ignored and only revisited many years after its release, as happened before (sans serif). Who knows? The new style can be somewhere among us, but we just can’t see it…

Nostratypus's picture

In the year 2012 typography will change forever.
The sun will align with the milky way galaxy and typographers and graphic designers will unify around a single typeface that has yet to be seen.
So it is prophesied, so it shall be.

dezcom's picture

Gee, didn't we do that already with Helvetica. Nos? :-)

ChrisL

Nostratypus's picture

Nay, young Chris.
The new typeface will encompass all that is beautiful in typography.
It will reflect the inner light seen by the Greeks; the Romans; the Medieval Illuminators; the Italian Humanists; the Venetian Printers; the Dutch Printers; the French Imprimerie; the Spanish Printers; the German; the English.
In the new typeface, all will find peace and harmony. Ask the right questions as Cody has, and the right answers shall be revealed to you.

russellm's picture

Helveta - Swiss scheese.
somebody will punch holes in all our fonts to save the world (and ink)

and then We'll all go out with an interobang.

-=®=-

illustrativetype's picture

I am working on a project called Future Sans, and how the mind will accept fonts in the future. Go to my typophile page here. Its a free font for you, the members of typophile to enjoy created by myself.

http://typophile.com/node/62707

Jerry Rose
www.illustrativetype.com

Syndicate content Syndicate content