21 Mai Typeone Magazine #2
Surprise Subscription #5
In our modern world, everything is designed. Even the letters you’re reading right now – from the proportions between large and small glyphs, to the way a round and a straight form come together, to the gaps between each letter. But very few people actually think about type design, even though we come into contact with it every day – when reading, when choosing a product at the supermarket, and, of course, in advertising. The truth is that we should think about type design because it can completely change a message. Basically, it acts as the tone of voice for the written, unspoken word.
That’s why we sent you TYPEONE: a new magazine that aims to combine typographic design with a message. It uses typography as a gateway to explore cultural issues such as diversity, innovation, technology and more.
Its second-ever issue is about kinetic type, meaning text that moves. Sounds like a pretty tough topic for a print magazine? Well, let Amber Weaver, founder of TYPE01 Studio and publisher of the fantastic book Femmetype, explain…And get your phones ready – this is a multimedia edition that pushes the boundaries of print!
The second issue of TYPEONE Magazine is about kinetic type, meaning text that moves, changes, shifts. How did you overcome the static nature of print to visualise this subject in magazine form?
We incorporated two elements to translate static images to moving type. Firstly we incorporated Lenticular printing, which is a technology in which lenticular lenses are used to produce printed images with an illusion of depth or the ability to move as the image is viewed from different angles. It’s like you’re watching a real life Instagram Boomerang happen live on paper, it’s fantastic. Secondly, we introduced QR code technology. Accompanying some of the images in the issue, you’ll find a QR code. If you open up your phone camera and hover over the QR code, it’ll scan and take you to the moving animation on screen.
Why is there such a demand for kinetic type? Is it to catch attention or is it all about evoking emotions?
Both, I think. Moving imagery and type has the power to capture our attention in a different way than the static image. On social media, kinetic (moving) graphics get a higher engagement rate than static imagery – not 100% of time, but most. I think the demand for kinetic type comes from viewers, to be honest. They’re telling us that they like to engage more with moving content, it clearly captures their attention and converts that attention into the action that the content creator intended. Like buying something, or signing up to a newsletter.
Through social media, we are flooded with images, but also short texts. What role do fonts play when it comes to communicating a message?
A lot. If you set this entire interview in an Extra Bold Uppercase font, it would be like we are screaming the interview back at the reader. Not a very nice experience for them! Being considerate of your font choice is really important, particularly when it comes to design contexts. By choosing the right font you can evoke a certain vibe of a brand, or communicate a message in a way that your audience will respond to better than if you went with another style.
Dr. Fiona Ross points out in one article that there is not enough choice in non-Latin typefaces, meaning there are not many fonts to choose from if you write e.g. in Indian language scripts. Do we have to fight for equality and representation even in typeface design?
Yes, without a doubt. Compared to the millions of Latin fonts available, we need to make sure that the huge variety of our world’s treasured scripts and languages are also treated with the same amount of care and attention so that they don’t get lost in history. A country’s language is an extremely important part of its culture and I am completely against advocating Latin as the master of all typefaces: we need a balanced landscape of languages available as digital typefaces.
So is typography political?
In some contexts yes, it can be. The typeface design industry needs diversifying not just with more people of colour, more women, more non-binary, trans, or gender non-conforming individuals but also with typefaces that aren’t Latin. We need to work on the extended character sets since we’ve already mastered the Latin character set.
If you were to take part in a demonstration, what font would you pick for your sign?
Our new typeface T1 Korium that we commissioned from Valerio Monopoli. Its badass attitude would certainly make a statement in the crowd of signs.