Today was a very special day. I’ve spent it in London at an event organised by Monotype, listening to brand leaders and typographically-oriented minds explain their brand decisions and how they envision their businesses’ future (ultimately, that change is good for any business). The event was organised right below London’s overground, so every half-hour or so there was a horrible rumble — Shoreditch!
The most exciting part of the event was the networking. I confess I’m a tad socially-awkward. People began noticing me (I was, after all, the only student there); someone cut me some slack, I grabbed a peroni and the ice began to break. I was introduced to a couple of Monotype’s type designers, Alex and Toshi. I discussed my plans for the future, talked about my dissertation ideas, told them of my love for all things type (duh!) and asked them about their field. Toshi gave me some advice — not to be afraid to design scripts that are linguistically incomprehensible. That this can be used as an advantage; you see the texture of the type without being encumbered by its underlying meaning. He tried dissuading me from designing something I am already aware of and instead focus on something else. Asian writing systems, Devanagari, Arabic, etc. But it can always be a double-edged sword. I’ve read an interesting article on Cyrillic typography, and came to understand that a language’s stylistic intricacies, e.g. calligraphic writing habits, should be taken into careful consideration, (remember Noordzij!). I think I’ll stick to Cyrillic for now, and shift my focus in the future.
It was an overwhelming experience, and after a long time things are beginning to make sense to me. Maybe my calligraphic hobby can finally serve its purpose.
Maybe this really is the way forward, where the art of drawing, calligraphy, and an eye for detail can intrinsically meet.
$root - whoami tenacious typographer
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