Blog Pick :: Typetoken

Blog Pick :: Typetoken
Phil Reville, M.Arch Candidate

With portfolio review quickly approaching, this week’s blog pick is a great resource for all things typography, iconography, and visual language. Typetoken is an online magazine that showcases, discusses, and reviews the abovementioned, looking to keep the design community abreast of what is new and exciting in all things typography. The site has an overwhelming catalog, from reviews on recent publications to posts about typeface related events.  Furthermore, the site is broken into eight categories based on feature relevance: icon, publication, theory, typeface, visual language, event, identity, and art. While many features overlap in content between these categories, it is an easier way to navigate when looking for something more specific.

A feature on a recent publication that caught my eye was that of a book called Type Plus.  Type Plus looks deeper at the seemingly obvious notion that messages are more powerfully communicative when typography is combined with imagery. Typetoken writes,
“By focusing on a host of contemporary practitioners from around the world, Type Plus creates a picture of a new dynamism in typographic expression. The era of type as a passive, semi-invisible holder of meaning is long gone.” 

Typetoken provides publication information and a link to a shop where you can buy the book.

While typetoken features many publications such as Type Plus, there are also posts about typography in its most basic form. One such post follows the launch of a brand new font by company Fontsmith.  The font, FS Millbank, was created for use in transportation settings,  highly stylized for fast-paced, long distance, and potentially blurred viewing.  In addition, the font was designed alongside matching icons. The feature provides insight into just how much work goes into making a single font.  The attention to detail given to each letter is astonishing. The fact that this font was then tested in various transportation scenarios is even more amazing.  I can only imagine the sketchbooks filled only with typefaces that Fontsmith has lying around.

So think twice before choosing your next font or layout.  Each font says something slightly different than the next.  Moreover, the way you lay out your imagery and text is inextricably linked to the way your information is received.  Take a look through typetoken and take notice of what fonts are used when and with what imagery.  We’re not masters of typography or visual language by any means, but it is certainly something to begin to take seriously... your portfolio might just depend on it.

Also be sure to check out the Boston Society of Architects’ current exhibition, Stereotype - a collection of works that reveal a “departure from conventional typographical approaches focused on two-dimensional letters by incorporating the elements of time, movement, and the third dimension.”  

Now through May 25, admission is free: