Presentation on theme: "Old Rules…New Rules Tony Fahy BA Hons. Typography Twenty four years ago my thesis for my degree in typography at the London College of Printing (BA Hons."— Presentation transcript:
Old Rules…New Rules Tony Fahy BA Hons
Typography Twenty four years ago my thesis for my degree in typography at the London College of Printing (BA Hons in Media production Design), was Old Rules for New Technology. This was an era when photocomposition had moved on from the era of Monotype and Linotype. The Linotron 202 and Diatronic and other photocomposition machines were to the fore. The PC or Mac as we know them, had not yet been born and wouldnt come into my hands properly till about seven years after I left the LCP. QuarkXPress would revolutionse typography! Old Rules…New Rules Introduction
Typesetters… This transition period left a lot to be desired. Specifications were still in picas (They are still so in the US and in other countries). It took me a while to changover. The restrictions of the previous technology, e.g. specifying 9.5 on 11.5pt, where previously not possible, now became so. And for a typographer like me who courted detail, allowed so much more freedom. I was, however, fought tooth and nailwhen it came to Book Design, Information Design, and Press Advertisementsin the main by typesetters. In those days, the Typographer specified; the typesetter set. The two did not meet. Old Rules…New Rules
Voila! Enter the Mac. A Godsend. Revolutions were built on less. For me, I could see a new period of Futurism where Marinetti and Sant Elia would shout again the new Manifesto on Typography from the top of Liberty Hall in Dublin. The story however, that Ive just related about the typesetters, actually happened at the beginning of the Apple Mac. The typesetters were now on Macs, but their rules were simple: Old Rules whatever the Technology. And by Old Rules, I mean take the easiest way out! Set to fit still ruled. Eventually, my being hands-on on the Mac, made the difference and all they had to do then was to take my art and go to filmwhere nothing could go wrong! Old Rules…New Rules Old Rules… Marinettis first Manifesto on Futurism
Craft & Dedication Where do the rules begin and technology end? Todays technology is the ideal catalyst for the typographic designer, typographer, or type designerso much can be done now, in finer detail and with more speed, that could only be dreamt of in the past. That is not to say that we do it better…craft and dedication will always be the arbiter, whatever the tool: quill, chisel, pen, pencil, scalpel, rotring or computer. For instance, this presentation you are viewing–I have used Times Roman for the main text. In other circumstances, I would have preferred a sans such as Verdana, but the Times serif really helps readability in this particular kind of visual presentation, moving the eye along with a greater speed than any san-serif. An earlier rule for the new technology! Old Rules…New Rules
…too much detail? Yet todays typographer has more challenges than any of his/her predecessors in history. Formula One racing drivers have it with 0.01 sec being the difference between first and sixth on the grid. The typographer can use increments of a thousandth of a point in specifying type size or line spacing.You could say that it has gone to the other end of the spectrum…too much detail! Not so…this is where the craft and the vision of the typographer creates the idealhoning that timetable to its absolute in readabilty and integrity, having engineered the design and the portrayal of the information in tandem with the science and the craft. Old Rules…New Rules
Progress in Typography Typography is where Science, Mathematics, Design and Art meet. It was always so and it is now. From the Trajan Column to the pages of Tscichold; the dynamic works of El Lissitzky to the fine art grids of Agnes Martin and the visionary grid work of Josef Müller Brockmann…the Golden Section to the fore. Whether we discuss the margin dynamics of a book page or the typographic grid that holds together all of the elements of a designin a different dynamic; or the sculptural essence of a letterform: chizelled in the mind, translated to paper or screen and rendered with vision and craft, we are still only at the core of an artform that demands as its ultimate accolade, that it convey the message, seen only subliminally. Old Rules…New Rules Agnes Martin Josef Müller-Brockmann
Old Rules…New Rules Jan Tschichold: El Lissitxky
Old Rules…New Rules Johan Müller Brockmann
The Craft The Science The Art The Craft of the Typographer is in the harnessing of all of the elements within a design: the conveyance of the information; the balance and the relationship between the line length, type size and line spacing; gutters and margins; the very dynamic of the piecewhether its an ad or a book, a catalogue, a web page or a Flash banner. The tone of voice is important…no need to break an eggshell with a sledge hammer…the more information you have of the market, the more ideal the solution can be. The design and dynamic of a single letter and then the vision and capability to craft 256 other letterforms (and perhaps up to 16 weights) that harmonise exactly with it, though each character with its own separate design and personalityis truly where the Design meets Art. Old Rules…New Rules
New Rules? The Art of the Letterform CIE 2000 & BOC 100
BOC 100 One Hundred years of the British Oxygen Group Old Rules…New Rules I designed the BOC 100 typeface initially for the Diatronic typesetting system in The three weights of this face were barely three months old when BOC 100 made its debut in a publication commemorating their centennial. It was rushed, but thats the nature of the business. This was called Around the Group in 100 Years. Having finalised the Diatronic version by hand, Linotype and Monotype were next. The Ikarus system at Signus in London was the tool in an inspirational hi-tech surrounding. Re-creating what was already there was part of the battle. Making it work across 8 weights for Linotype and 10 for Monotype was a further challenge. Eventually, BOC 100 was presented to the public appearing on many items: literature, golfbags, annual reports, champagne goblets, tankers, flags etc. Case Study 1 Designed at Pauffley & Co, London. Team members: Reg Pauffley, Leslie Jessup, Gene Mahon, Peter Randall, Nick Glanville BOC: Nigel Rowe Signus: Mike Daines, John Clements
Old Rules…New Rules Earliest working drawings of BOC 100 First publication of BOC 100 BOC 100 in its Diatronic state
Old Rules…New Rules First drawings using the IKARUS computer, in preparation for both Monotype and Linotype versions of BOC 100 Preparing the Centennial tankers BOC 100 Bold Monotype
CIE 2000 Typeface for the Millennium Old Rules…New Rules I was commissioned by CIE in 1999, to design a customised corporate typeface for the CIE Group of companies. CIE produce all of their printed output in bi-lingual form. My experience with the customised corporate BOC typeface and my knowledge of the Irish language, including the previously designed Gaelic typeface Pádraig, played a part in my winning the commission from among others, Bitstream. The 6 namestyles (English & Irish) for the Group companies were required immediately and a more condensed version of the face was its origin. In fact at that stage it was the only version, with CIE 2000 organically evolving. One of the problems of a corporate face is that it is always wanted yesterday and inevitably some form of it appears before it is ready. Thus it was with the namestyles. Case Study 2 Designed for Pardue Assoc, Florida. Team members: Tyrone Pardue, CIE: Pat Matthews
Old Rules…New Rules Prototype of CIE 2000 internal signage. Note that the Gaelic characters are more prominent than in the sign on the right. Entrance sign at Athlone Railway Station Final of CIE 2000 internal signage.
New Rules for The Irish Language? CIE 2000 has many extra characters. These Gaelic characters are in the style of CIE 2000 but of the old Gaelic typesimilar to the typestyles found in Dermot McGuinnes book: A History of Printing Types in the Irish Character. More influential was my relationship with the Cló Romhánach. Why did one of the oldest languages in the world suddenly have to have new rules? To Romanise it? Why no transition typeface? An intermediate? Eliminating the visual language is the first step in undermining both language and culture. It was the initial blow as to why our language today took so long to become an EU language. I was delighted to create these Gaelic characters for a company that keeps the Irish language alive. Old Rules…rule! Old Rules…New Rules
CIE 200 Bold Gaelic characters are an essential part of CIE 2000
New Rules? Information Design
Form Design Old Rules…New Rules Information design is at its best, where function and aesthetics combine to ensure a document is more easily accessible and understood by people of all ages...neither talking down, nor elevating the customer. There should be no wonder on his/her part when completing a form, where he/she may be signing the family house away. Its all very well being impressed by the local sub-managers knowledge of his subject...but where will he be when you are questioning what you signed? You may be able to rely on your memory. But its the file/form, still there, 20 years from now, that you will depend on. They certainly will! The form should be 100% understood and inviting to the customer...not putting him/her off by its intricate presentation. A common-sense rule rather than old or newbut nevertheless, a rule thats around along time. Case Study 3 Bank of Ireland form
Old Rules…New Rules Bank of Ireland forms: designed to be understood!
Book Design Old Rules…New Rules Tommy Moran, President elect of the GAA in Connacht, commissioned me to design The History of Connacht GAA in early It was a huge project of 436 pages with a similar number of photographs and illustrations. I designed the book using a 10 column modular grid. This allowed 8 modules in width–4 per main column, and two modules for caption and other peripherel text and panels, of which there were many. The essence of the design of this book came from my training of 25 years previously, structures learned and developed over the years; but essentially at the core, the ability to take a huge amount of different types of information and using my typographic and grid skills, to bring them all together despite a severe deadline. A modern presentation influenced by what went before. History of Connacht GAA Title page Case Study 4
Old Rules…New Rules History of Connacht GAA Opening Spread.
Old Rules…New Rules History of Connacht GAA Double Spread.
Old RulesOK? Old Rules…New Rules
Old & new Old Rules…New Rules We are in a very hi-tech period of our existence. Most things are still modelled on what has gone before. Rules are being broken everyday. New inventions, newer technology… just look at the way the mobile phone has eventually evolved to the iPhone! In typography, how it changes depends on whats coming alongour adapting to the new. Certainly the application of the written word has many more conveyors. Screens, as we know them, play a big part, but they change yearly. What is clear though, is that whatever we come up with, the Old Rules, the grounding on what has gone before, will continue to play a part in what is to come: technically, aesthetically and common-sense wise.