Thursday, June 5, 2008

Type Club Review Part 3: Speakers' Night

Sorry this post is a bit delayed... it's that busy time of year.

On Wednesday, May 21, Rod McDonald and Dominic Ayre (mediated by Donna Braggins) discussed digital typography. I have to admit, if I had to start designing solely for the web, I would change careers. However, the discussion was very captivating. Rod explained the origins of digital type starting with the first typeface designed to be read by a computer. I had Rod as an instructor and I always enjoy listening to him speak. He seems to articulate abstract ideas and thoughts so simply that it just all makes sense — kinda like his typefaces. I've heard Rod say "everyone needs a hero", well, Rod is definitely one of mine.

Dominic went through case studies of recent web work and explained why Arial and Georgia can work so well together in almost any online setting and that they are the only two typefaces you need for online. ever. I paraphrased but it was a very bold statement... and I was convinced, because none of his work looked cookie-cutter or homogenized, he seems to be right, it does work. Actually, Villatype was set up to use both Arial and Georgia.

I think it is a sign of a really great designer when they can create interesting, current and unique work within such boundaries and limitations and these modern ideals are really due to the insane limitations of digital typography, not that Dominic or other designers wouldn't love to use and number of typefaces that could be as easily readable online — which was discussed in length afterwards but I won't go into it at this point.

Overall, both Rod and Dominic were great counterpoints and compliments to each other making it a very interesting discussion.

Slate typeface by Rod McDonald

Dominic worked on Harry magazine along with their online component (below) which uses Georgia and Arial.

1 comment:

Anth said...

great write-up. definitely makes me wish i had rod as a prof in school!