I went to a fascinating lecture by Dr Maryam Ahmed in memorial of Beatrice Ward, a founder of St Bride’s foundation, Here are the notes I made at the time:
There were so many interesting points. One of them was that even though we don’t realise it, we all learn typography when we learn to write. We then forget we ever learnt it and it becomes invisible. I’d like my project to make typography more visible to the people in the community, because I think that is the first hurdle in getting people engaged and eager to consider their typographic environment.
Her students have undertaken a project called Wander Type where they undertook a project similar to the GeoType Wall project we did in the first week of GDE720. Her students could travel the world using Google Maps Street View, which is a fascinating way to consider new areas. Will her students miss vital context, or are fresh eyes vital to evaluating an area in this way? I think it is a bit of both.
This will be similar to my Area Survey workshop, but mine will be based in the area of E17. Like the WanderType project, I pick out typography that people living in the area for a long time might be a bit blind to what they see. On the other hand, they will know the history and be able to contextualise what is there. I will come in and not know the history, but will be able to see in a different way.
Gerry Leonidas is a very well-respected typography lecturer at the university of Reading, and he gave a talk in 2017 about how to make a career in typography last.
Anyone can knock out good enough typefaces and typesetting, or programmes to do so. The role of the typographer is now to find the context around the type being created through practice-based research and to facilitate encouragement and discourse around type. Food for thought!
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