Typography everywhere

Slide from Ampersand lecture

 

The first time I heard a typographer complain that people who design texts for screens “don’t get typography” was in 1994. Since then I’ve heard this repeated many times, but relatively few people moved from a – usually unspecified – “what they don’t know” to “how can we explain what matters?” There’s been notable efforts (not least Bringhurst on the web) but I never felt they capture the more complex of typographic decisions.

I’ve been thinking about what typographers would need to explain to related professionals, but a discussion last January with Rich Rutter (who, incidentally, was also responsible for the online Elements I link to above) and Ben Mitchell spurned me to put my ideas into a self-contained presentation. The talk, the first of three that outline similar ideas, is is now on Vimeo. The other two will happen in Paris in a couple of weeks, and in Munich in November.

ICTVC5 announced!

The fifth iteration of the most interesting typography conference has been announced!

ICTVC is established worldwide as a major event that explores the world of typography and visual communication. Since its inception in 2002, people from diverse fields and different disciplines with a passion for visual language research, education, and practice, contribute to the conference. ICTVC attracts speakers and delegates on an international scale, and from a wide range of disciplines related to typography and design. The high quality of presentations is a hallmark of the conference.

This time the conference theme is “against lethe…”; social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental issues that affect us all demand a new way of thinking. However, as we look forward we should not forget the lessons of the past. What has been the role of visual language against forgetting till now and what may happen in the future?

We would like to invite you to submit your proposals for 30 minute lectures or 20 minute presentations-reports for the main conference and the education strand, and 20 minute presentations for the Design Méditerranée strand.

The 5th ICTVC will take place from 6 to 8 June 2013 in Nicosia, Cyprus, on the campus of the University of Nicosia. A series of workshops will precede the conference, and exhibitions will run for the duration of the week.

Please send your files/proposals to papers2013@ictvc.org until 15 December 2012

Od „Ala Ma Kota” Do E-Matury slides

These are the slides from my presentation at the Od „Ala Ma Kota” Do E-Matury conference in Warsaw, on 18 April 2012. The talks were 16 minutes long, so this is a fairly condensed deck. As always, my slides are starting points for each idea; there’s about a minute’s worth of elaboration for the key ones. I’ve been asked to write the talk up, and I’ll link to that when it goes public.

Ala Ma Kota conference slide 1
“It’s typography, Jim, but not as we know it…”

Six observations, four challenges, one conclusion, and five predictions…

Ala Ma Kota conference slide 2
Observations
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People run out of time faster than they run out of options
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There’s no such thing as “new media”, only new users
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Internationalisation and geography matter
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The permanent and ephemeral are reversed
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Materials become precious
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The market does not wait for teachers to write lesson plans
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Physical properties are no help in predicting potential uses
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Challenges for designers
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Support for text and typography is not Good Enough
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Support for text and typography is not Good Enough
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Typographers lose the reassurance of familiar, visible, tactile structures
Ala Ma Kota conference slide 14
(A conventional structure is defined by spreads and sequence in the bound object)
Ala Ma Kota conference slide 15
(An e-publication’s structure relies on content sections…)
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(…which are not differentiated without reference to external navigation)
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(…and therefore rely on the root-level navigation for the publication to explain itself)
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We lack great models for integrating inline and immersive content
Ala Ma Kota conference slide 19
Texts are becoming nodes in networks, but typography has been volume-bound 
Ala Ma Kota conference slide 20
(A single of the sections we identified has four aspects that traditional typography has no solution for:) 
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(links within the text to other texts,)
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(annotations by the user,)
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(annotations by other users,)
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(and links within the annotations.)
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(Developments in literature, which is easy to parse, show some ways forward) 
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(uncovering meaningful connections in the text)
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Conclusion
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This emerging typography is traditional at the paragraph level, and potentially innovative at the semantic level 
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Predictions 
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Three to five years of conservative solutions: just ‘digital books’
Ala Ma Kota conference slide 31
Local interfaces will adopt traditional solutions
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Personal aggregators will threaten traditional authorship models
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Knowledge platforms will push beyond ‘digital books’ when trust systems mature
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Authors, publishers, and students will continue to adapt much faster than teachers (and schools, and education authorities)
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Thank you