TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Thu Mar 30 08:04:03 EDT 2017

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Michael Bierut: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Typeface [Michael Bierut]

Michael Bierut on the how and why of type choices. I quote from the introduction: For the first ten years of my career, I worked for Massimo Vignelli, a designer who is legendary for using a very limited number of typefaces. Between 1980 and 1990, most of my projects were set in five fonts: Helvetica (naturally), Futura, Garamond No. 3, Century Expanded, and, of course, Bodoni. For Massimo, this was an ideological choice, an ethical imperative. In the new computer age, he once wrote, the proliferation of typefaces and type manipulations represents a new level of visual pollution threatening our culture. Out of thousands of typefaces, all we need are a few basic ones, and trash the rest. [...] My Catholic school education must have well prepared me for this kind of moral clarity. I accepted it gratefully. Then, after a decade, I left my first job. Suddenly I could use any typeface I wanted, and I went nuts. On one of my first projects, I used 37 different fonts on 16 pages. [...] Liberated from monogamy, I became typographically promiscuous.

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Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html