Though Facebook is predicting the end of the written word, text is as alive as ever. In today’s communication, it still proves to be surprisingly resilient. It’s compact, fast, flexible, subtle. The human brain processes it effortlessly because words are the building blocks of our critical thinking. We will never surrender the written word unless our entire civilization crumbles to dust.
For centuries, Western writing has been based on the same 26 letters. And this has not changed. But globalization and technology have completely re-defined the character set of all modern typefaces … for linguistic reasons, aesthetic reasons, technical reasons, and sometimes just for pure fun. Messaging and mobile communication have become the driving forces that shape the evolution of fonts. And now they have even more power over us than print ever did in its day.
Since more and more software and devices rely on written communication, the need to synchronize technical efforts is now more urgent than ever. This is what fostered the creation of TYPO labs, an annual summit on font technology and engineering. Stay tuned for more information and follow @TYPO_Labs on Twitter.
No static logo can do justice to an event that annually spotlights the rapid changes in a dynamic industry. The core of this trademark emblem is a “backbone” of letters, i. e. the word “labs” set in microscopically small print in FF Milo Italic by Mike Abbink, then enlarged many times over. Each of the four letters is built from the atomic particles of the font, which are RGB building-blocks colored by subpixel rendering.
The color fluctuations symbolize the vibrant energy of a vital industry. There are no silver bullets in font engineering. Diverse methods and visual cultures merge individually. By this token, there can never be the “one and only” TYPO labs logo.
For centuries, the written word has played a central role in visual communication. This has not changed in the digital world. In fact, the opposite is true: mobility, globalization, and automation, plus new applications like instant messaging, programmatic advertising and dynamic campaigns are fostering an ever-growing demand for custom-made font technologies.
Programmatic Advertising means fully automated and individualized purchase and sale of advertising space in real time. Custom-made advertising banners are generated based on individual customer data. The TYPO Labs corporate design plays around with this individualized marketing by furnishing its newsletter, printed matter, roll-ups and other information channels with changing logos that are individual and media-pertinent.
The TYPO Labs program directors are still working on the selection of speakers and topics for the 3-day event. But the title page of the printed companion is already designed: it’s programmatic, media-pertinent, topical, aesthetic, with extra space for notes. Contents will be published shortly. Stay tuned!