Last week, I participated in an evening panel event with collaborative design studio Method’s David Eveleigh-Evans, to discuss type and typography in a digital landscape, expertly moderated by John Walters, editor of Eye Magazine. The event was hosted by Method’s London studio and featured installations that explored the interaction between typography and people.
The conversation between John, David and myself revolved around type and how information is consumed. In particular, how editorial, layout and type create a responsive experience. Presenting information on a laptop is a very different proposition to presenting the same information on a mobile phone. Does the change in medium not require a different treatment of the information, in all its expressions? One possibility is that a typeface responds to the device by changing its proportions dynamically for best functionality.
How can we encourage creators of content, not only authors but the digital designers, to actively think about how the typeface affects tone of voice of the content? One installation explored this by having audience members speaking into a microphone, and the computer responding with a typeface from Dalton Maag’s font library, depending on pitch and volume parameters.
The furious pace of digital development is forcing everyone to rethink their economic models. There is no dispute that creators have to be paid; the conversation must be around access and font licensing models, and software in general. During the development of Dalton Maag’s website, conceptualised by Method, it emerged that new, and simple licensing models were needed to help content creators achieve more typographic diversity.
Method and Dalton Maag both hope that this event is only the start to a debate around bringing digital creators together. As digital content production increasingly requires specialisation, not unlike the days of letterpress content, events like this provide a platform to bring together specialists and experts in their respective areas, to help each other create inspiring work.