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Deliberatepixel / The Font Revolution

The Font Revolution

Virginia Postrel has an interesting piece in The Atlantic about the rise of new typefaces:

Beginning in the mid-'80s and accelerating in the 1990s, type design weathered the sort of radical, technology-driven transformation that other creative industries, including music, publishing, and movies, now face. Old business models and intermediaries disappeared seemingly overnight. Software replaced industrial processes. Tangible products--metal, film, computer disks--dissolved into bits and bytes sold over the Internet. Prices plummeted. Consumers started buying directly. From their kitchen tables, independent designers could undertake experiments that had once required bet- the-company investments. "Having an idea for a typeface used to be like having an idea for a new-model car," says [Michael] Bierut. Now the distance between idea and execution, designer and user, has contracted.

This is definitely an article for non-typography geeks - in fact, it's almost an introduction to these kind of geeks, and an attempt at explaining what aspects of our culture and technology have made the typography revolution possible.

The article is subscription-only, so I'm linking to the Reason post that mentions it - you can click on the link there to read the full article.



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