I’ve always been fascinated with typography.
It is incredible how appropriate letter setting gives meaning to words. Attention must be paid and no detail must be spared or missed. It bothers me deeply when people (artists and such) dont give type credit. Perhaps I could blame it on my first advertising professor at York U who once went on a mad rant about misuse of typography, she was especially angered with type used without taking into consideration its historical context, but the point was proven and a lesson was learned.
Now being a full time advertising student I get to talk about type every day even if just with myself. Much of these moments, however, are those of disappointment. My friends and I are now titled as typography geeks and aliens among a loosely woven group of graphic design students. It is frowned upon to get excited about an assignment. At first I could not understand why. “Don’t they get it!” I wondered. And than I realized – they don’t. Young adults who wish to be graphic designers fail to understand the concept of concept let alone the importance and complexity of typographic choice. Things like target market throw them off and leave them stunned.
In the most recent issue of Communication Arts Dr. Shelley Gruendler talked about various problems with teaching and learning typography. She argued that perhaps it should be taught the way it is learned not they way instructors and developers think it should be taught. I pondered over that point for a few days and I do agree, it is a challenging subject to teach. What I realized though is that typography can only be learned if it is learned with passion. You need to get to know her, take her out on a nice date and than she will open up to you. It’s a silly metaphor but where I’m going with it is that typography needs to be understood before it could be learned.