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 participate in 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), but still be personalized for their users.
2. The ubiquitous type can cause user confusion (Mr. Keedy)
Mr. Keedy created Keedy Sans, a popular font in the 90’s. The font was deemed “inelegant” 10 years later and was used everywhere. Keedy sans is used in makeup packaging for teenagers, 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 layer the font for interesting visuals.
3. Braille is a form of typography (Ellen Lupton, Cooper Hewitt)
Ellen talked about how blind people read braille in a unique way, keeping it all over the body. It also demonstrated the experience of a blind person watching music videos by showing the accessibility voice-over.
4. The brand maintains the content along with the design (Gale Bichler, NYTimes)
Gale focused on how the New York Times (NYT) has called itself a publication that experiments with many types of sources. NYT can play with different types and massive fonts for illustration. If someone takes a page off the floor, they can generally say it’s from the New York Times because of the branding.
5. Choosing sources is like eating ice cream. (Veronika Burian and Jose Scaglione, write together)
When combining fonts, watch for mechanical and organic sensations. Veronika and José talked about how people like humanistic fonts, with a touch of the hand of a calligrapher. Ideally, you should find a balanced typeface that shares a common language.
The general theme is that the typography is very broad and cuts across 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.