Will capital letters be abolished, harking back to Bauhaus designer Herbert Bayer’s universal alphabet experiments? Will type become responsive, forming to reflect its meaning as its typed? Or will all lettering be created through the medium of potato printing?
It’s really anyone’s guess, and these are just a few of the suggestions responding to the rather weighty question which will become the basis of a workshop at St Bride’s Library next month.
During the workshop, type’s past will form the backdrop to discuss its future, with a display of Victorian typefaces from the St Bride Library collection.
Throughout the workshop, Tweets from the public on the future of type topic will be hand drawn, forming what organiser Sarah Hyndman describes as a ‘Steampunk-style Twitter feed’. This will then be used as stimulus for the discussion on the future of type.
Participants will be invited to use type samples from the selection as templates from which to recreate the Victorian letters by hand, including the Grotesque sans serifs of the 19th Century to the decorative letters by Louis Jean Pouchée.
Pouchée’s letterforms are certainly very redolent very of their time – much as the Art Nouveau and Modernist styles are inextricable from the art and cultural movements that surrounded them.
So what does that mean for the future? Will the hashtag become as commonplace as the consonants? Will vowels become redundant? Will Helvetica finally take over the world?
As we may have made clear through these meanderings, we don’t really have a clue. But we want to know what you reckon.
Future of Type? Takes place on 2 May 2nd from 6.30-9.30pm iIn the Bridewell Hall, St Bride Foundation, 14 Bride Lane, Fleet Street, City of London, EC4Y. tickets cost £25 or £20 for concessions and friends of St Bride Library. For more information visit www.stbride.org/events
Join the Discussion and Tweet your vision of #FutureOfType? @stbridelibrary