Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones

‘Off Book’ Documentary on Typography shows some professionals point of view when it comes to typography. Show casing designers Jonathan Hoefler & Tobias Frere-Jones, Paula Scher, Eddie Opara, Julia Vakser and Deroy Peraza.

I took a few ideas from watching it and saw many differences in the way these designers see and use type. I formed their wisdom into useful questions to ask myself for future work:

What is the texture?

Typography is a little like a carpet. Look at typography at a point of view as texture and how readable that texture is. Too much text without attractors (interesting and defining element) equals to not enough textural form, attention and dynamics. Having something that is flat is not comparable to something that is sculptural or dimensional even though it may be irregular to common practice.

Is your voice detectable in your Typography?

There are two types of typographers: Those whose voice is always detectable in the work they do, and those whose voice is never detectable. Try to conceal your handy work in typefaces when the message is priority one, but hope that people will recognize you as a second in priority to the message the type was created for.

What is your Typefaces Identity?

Is in wearing a grey business suit or is it the caped crusader? Is it Summer on the patio or winter in Siberia.  Ask what your type looks like as a person or place or thing. Visual systems like typefaces have relation to anything that can evoke emotional response. Just like a photograph or painting. Having a type whose emotion doesn’t tie into the message will look as out of place as flying pigs. However, it’s not to say that these contradictions can at the same time create interest.

The video from FontFeed: