Fonts in use is amazing food for though on the subject of ‘typography fit for purpose’. Either look at designs and judge for yourself or look up how specific typefaces are used.

  1. Jim said:

    Hey Christoph (and all the rest): I agree this is good food for thought, but it’s more commercially than educationally motivated. In short, they want to sell typefaces. For the purpose of collecting workbook references and accomplishing the Learning Outcomes for this module, looking at this vast a range of contemporary typefaces (and their applied use) might be overwhelming.

    For this reason, I suggest you all limit your research to classic forms which have survived the test of time. I’ve posted bits about contemporary typography as well – but I’ve tried to include the classically informed underpinnings (and references like Walter Kaech) which help ‘shape’ and define these new works. Walk before you run – you need to know undeniably good principles and theories of typography to do this work well.

    Again, this is good – but this is a site sponsored by those who want to promote new typefaces, not those who intend to teach you much about the principles, structures and forms which make these (and other) typefaces fit for purpose. I can understand how it may help to see typefaces in various uses, though.

    Keep posting – please note that all of you will be required to contribute at least one post to this site. We’ll talk about this later – see you Monday, Jim

    • Christoph said:

      Maybe we should create an very notable distinction between official learning resources and ‘interesting finds’ from students. I do understand that classic type forms are very important for our research but were would you draw the line and would you limit our research about fit for purpose type to classic forms as well? In that case, what purpose is to be questioned? Are we talking about more general applications of type (e.g. “What is important in a good face for body copy?”) or contextual purpose (e.g. “How well suited are didone typefaces for fashion magazines?”).

      I’m not trying to defend my link – that’s unimportant – but understanding this part of the brief is crucial. Especially the last learning outcome (“Compare and contrast how type is developed and applied currently to how it has been historically developed and used.”) seems to need the consideration of contemporary typefaces. It would also be useful to know were to draw the line – Gill, Johnston, Renner, Tschichold: would you count them as contemporary or not?

      Sorry to bother you with all these questions, but some clarification would help me a lot. Thanks for replying,


      • Jim said:

        It’s the commercial (we want to sell you new typefaces so we’re showing them in use) versus the educational (we want to explain to you why the these forms work in this context) that’s important to distinguish in these posts.

        My worry is that In order to get to the best learning potential for everyone in a relatively short period of time, the ‘flavour of the month’ aspect of these new typefaces featured on a site like this may confuse what’s central to this Learning Outcome comparison (the one you’ve quoted).

        Typefaces by Gill, Johnston, Renner and Tschichold have stood the test of time and have influenced countless debates (positive and negative) and countless new contemporary forms – Bliss, by Jeremy Tankard is influenced by Gill and Johnston’s work. Anything which has been proven to be useful for a significant number of years is potentially a modern classic form – but this is something I want each of you to think about and decide for yourselves. The clarification is that ‘classic forms’ must be defined by the individual and must be backed by theoretical principles observed and understood about their form and use.

      • Christoph said:

        Thank you for the clarification. If you think it is misleading, you are welcome to take it off the blog.

  2. Jim said:

    Not at all, Christoph. As I said – this post is good food for thought. And if this exchange makes the point clearer that ‘classic forms’ in type design and typography aren’t fixed and agreed – or ‘done and dusted’, that’s a very good thing.

    Observation – as well as application – are key to this. Your opinions always matter in this kind of study; to understand anything theoretical or in depth, there must be an open debate. Thanks for asking these questions and staying engaged. There’s nothing wrong with this at all – hanging back and not asking questions about design theory and ‘classical forms’ makes it all seem incredibly dull. Learning this shouldn’t be dull – thanks again for staying with it, J

  3. Crystal Coates said:

    Can everybody put stuff on this blog? 🙂

    • Christoph said:

      Yes, you have to register with so someone can give you contributor rights. I’ve send you an invite to the email address you commented with!


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