EXPERIMENTAL TYPOGRAPHY

TINKA's picture

Hi Im student and recently working on my project proposal.
I am strongly interested in typography, there are endless limits to what you can do. My chosen filed of study will mainly focus on Experimental/Expressive Typography and I would like to explore this topic more further. The purpose of this project is to investigate the idea of legibility, readability, style, movement and how type can be taken beyond its basic and what Experimental Typography really means. The word "experiment" oxford dictionary define as a scientific procedure undertaken to make a discovery, demonstrate a known fact or a course of action tentatively adopted without being sure of the outcome. In this context, an experiment is a test of idea; set of actions to prove or disprove an idea. In a graphic design and typography, experiment as a noun has been used to signify anything new, unconventional, defying easy categorization, or confounding expectations. This is something what I wish to explore within this project.
Could you give me some advice or how I could possible narrow this down??
THANX

riccard0's picture

how I could possible narrow this down?

For example limiting the span of time and/or place you consider. For example, early XX century in Europe, or the 1990s in the USA.*
Or you could try to give it a wide (thus somewhat superficial) historical perspective.

* http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/the-digital-past-when-typefaces-were-exp...

dezcom's picture

I would ask you what you consider a historic example of "Experimental" typography just so I can understand where you are coming from personally. Oxford is of no help in this since people other than true scientists view the word experimental in many ways that be be untestable.

"...purpose of this project is to investigate the idea of legibility, readability, style, movement and how type can be taken beyond its basic and what Experimental Typography really means."

This is a huge broad area and I would confine it to something you can write in your lifetime let alone when the assignment is due. :-)

Legibility/readability opens a HUGE can of worms which cannot be done in time for your project. These things border on science or at least soft-science and require knowledge that you probably don't have.

I would first decide if you are going to talk about experimental type design or experimental type usage. Pick one that will be doable for you. My guess is that type usage would be less daunting.

Next, pick a practitioner or 2 who has work that shows what you are talking about. You may also choose a style or school of work to focus on. Examples might be DaDa or Constructivists or more current things like Grunge. Mostly, pick what really interests YOU. Yo may choose to contrast say the experimental work of Emil Ruder with his student Weingart for how one persons ideas were transferred and changed by another. Or else you might contrast the older DaDa work with Grunge or some other thing that you have an interest in. You might also look at painterly done lettering by early 20th French painters with Bauhaus lettering from the same time period. Perhaps compare Lautrec to El Lizzitsky or just one Moula Rouge poster to a Weimar 1923 poster?
Basically, find some examples of work online that shows what you mean and either attempt to research it or compare 2 styles of experimentation. You won't have time for more than that.

TINKA's picture

THANKS for the replay

After more research I have decided focus on typography in era of modernism and postmodernism. This will allow me to examine and compare two different typographic styles which came one after the other. I want to question the ideologies of modernist (Emil Ruder) consisting that of a formalist, rationalist nature to that of a Postmodernist (Wolfgan Weingart) more expressive, subjective and experimental nature through a series of methods but also question how they could work in today’s extremely multicultural society. Questioning graphic design of certain times and trying to get a better understanding of the ideologies and what affected them. I planned to do this in a number of ways to gain a more intense knowledge of design history. So I can come to acknowledge the deeper messages of their work rather than just visual inspiration. So I really feel the need to study their reasoning in much more detail.

thanks for all your comments

dezcom's picture

Sounds like a sensible approach, hope you do well with it!

Té Rowan's picture

... and what Experimental Typography really means.

*blink* *blink* Man, just that is forty-two hefty tomes! At least your life will not be one of idle hands.

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