Crouwel's New Alphabet

scwr's picture

Hi, Any ideas on broadening the contention of my thesis. New Alhpabet: A critical analysis.

I am writing my thesis on the New Alphabet. A critical analysis does not seem like it is broad enough for a thesis. I need to expand! any help really appreciated.

Nick Shinn's picture

You say you are writing your thesis?
Why not do it with a broad nibbed pen, using the New Alphabet?
(After all, it is an alphabet—unless the name is purely ironic—and so may be rendered in many ways.)
That would constitute critical design, which is the appropriate form of "critical analysis" for designers.
See if you can learn to read and write fluently with it.

**

I too designed a monowidth, unicase alphabet, which I termed the Panoptic alphabet, and executed it in a number of different typographic styles, as the typeface Panoptica.
But I was not influenced by Crouwel's work.
In fact, the "orthogonal" version of it ended up looking more like Doesburg's de Stijl lettering (also revived by the Foundry).

**

Zuzana Licko's Oblong is somewhat like New Alphabet, in that it exploits its constraints in an inventive, decorative/stylish manner, rather than putting a premium on legibility. Certainly in comparison to her earlier, more verbatim transcriptions of the alphabet to the low-res no-diagonal screen.

scwr's picture

Can the New Alphabet be considered a Modern typeface even though it's illegible?

hrant's picture

It is not illegible. But it is unreadable, exactly because it is Modern.

hhp

scwr's picture

is it not maybe too esoteric and there for too illegible for general use? isn't legibility, easy reading, and easily distinguishable word patterns not the "hallmark" of modern typography?

Is it because it's paired down to abstraction that it has become Modern? I have always read that it is illegible.

I'm getting myself confused between the characteristics of modernist typography, and how it's not illegible.

hrant's picture

Some of us prefer to distinguish between legibility and
readability; the former refers to the decipherability of
individual symbols, while the latter refers to the actual
facilitation of what some call "immersive reading". For
example a large sans-serif letter is highly legible, but
a lot of text set that way is not readable.

My contention is -and has long been- that Modernism
is not in fact motivated by functionality, but merely
the illusion of functionality via [over-]simplification.

hhp

kentlew's picture

It’s best not to have duplicate threads running in parallel. I’m closing this one in favor of the more active discussion.

Please continue any conversation on the original thread:
http://typophile.com/node/87506

Syndicate content Syndicate content