This was my first year at Typographics 2018. Typographics 2018 is a conference for typography enthusiasts from around the world, held at Cooper Union. There were panelists from San Francisco, Berlin, Buenos Aires and Japan; it really felt like a truly international experience.
I had the opportunity to attend both the conference and the TypeLab portions of Typographics. Here are some highlights from the panels/breakout sessions that I really enjoyed:
1. Emojis = Images + Character (Jennifer Daniel, Google Emoji)
Emojis are images that can be translated into different meanings on different devices. Jennifer gave an example of how the “dumpling” emoji looks different on different chat platforms – every culture has a dumpling!
I found an interesting tension in this statement: emojis should have a consistent user experience (across all platforms), and still be personalized to their users.
2. The ubiquitous type can cause user confusion (Mr. Keedy)
Mr. Keedy created Keedy Sans, a popular font in the ’90s. The font was deemed “uncool” 10 years later and was used everywhere. Keedy sans is used in teen makeup packaging as well as in wine bars. This could create a bad user experience for people due to lack of branding. Last year, Mr. Keedy updated his font to create more customization and allow Keedy fans to overlay the font for cool visuals.
3. Braille is a form of typography (Ellen Lupton, Cooper Hewitt)
Ellen talked about how blind people read Braille in a unique way: by holding it on their body. She also demonstrated the experience of a blind person watching music videos by showing the accessibility voiceover.
4. Brand unites content with design (Gale Bichler, NYTimes)
Gale focused on how the New York Times (NYT) has branded itself a publication that experiments with many types of fonts. NYT can play around with different types and massive fonts as an illustration. If someone picks up a page off the ground, you can usually tell it’s from the New York Times because of the branding.
5. Choosing fonts is like eating ice cream. (Veronika Burian and Jose Scaglione, write together)
When combining sources, notice the mechanical and organic sensations. Veronika and Jose talked about how people like humanistic fonts, with a touch of a calligrapher’s hand. Ideally, you should find a balance between typefaces that share a common language.
The general theme is that typography is broad and crosses various mediums. Visual languages include symbols, braille, and audio captions. The challenge now lies in how to design the best experiences for these new forms of language.