What is the future of typography?

A workshop at St Bride’s next month will discuss the Future of Typography. What do you think is the future of type?

Erik Spiekermann

‘You might as well ask “What is the future of mankind?”.
Why could anybody ask such a general and unspecific question? I’ll still answer it. The future of type is the past of type: visual language. As long as we speak and write, we’ll have type. Different voices, different messages, different media: different type.’

Erik Spiekermann, designer and typographer and founder of Edenspiekermann

James Hurst

‘With a heavy heart we announce type is dead. The improvements in voice-operated user interfaces renders redundant buttons, signage, poetry anthologies and council tax reminders! Bah! That’ll never happen. The return of online long-form copywriting a celebration of type doing what it does best, convey information. As it gets ever easier to design, publish and use type online it is interesting as digital natives develop digitally what David Carson, Vaughan Oliver, Barnbrook et al. have done so well in print.’

James Hurst, digital director at Prophet & founder of The Type Foundry

Alan Dye

‘Don’t worry about the future of type. 99.99% of the populace doesn’t. Type, language, #hashtags, symbols – they are always going to be evolving and that is great – it adds a lovely texture to our lives. There is no need to get bogged down in the big questions or small details – progress doesn’t happen when you stand still. Now as creative director of NB Studio and Chairman of The Typographic Circle I would like this set in Akzidenz-Grotesk kerned -20. Please look out for widows, orphans, rivers etc…’

Alan Dye, creative director of NB Studio and chairman of The Typographic Circle

James Clarke

‘Whatever the future holds for typography, there is no doubt that the fundamentals will remain. The English language may evolve bringing new words and phrases; passing trends will introduce new fonts and styles; new devices might even project content directly to your brain. However, poor kerning and widows will still annoy those who care, Baskerville will always be a classic and Rosewood will never be suitable for a fire exit – unless it’s in a saloon.’

James Clarke, senior creative, Roundel

James Webb

‘In the studio this year we’ve had to deal with how copy appears on a series of adverts ranging from Tube cards to in-app adverts. What corporate typeface to use when the brand has to appear modern yet traditional and work well across all online platforms. And of course the letterpress-printed wood type that needs to look great on a set of covers and but enlarge well when it’s used in-store on point of sale! The future’s evolving, adding more and more applications, being revived, going out of fashion again and above all about experimenting with whatever comes along.’

James Webb, director, Webb & Webb

Oli Frape

‘What is exciting to see is the continued and growing interest in type. There are independent type foundries popping up all over the place and people painting shop signs by hand again. In the end this means people will be more informed about typography and will have more choice of how and what to use. Yes, there’ll be some terrible stuff made, but there’ll also be some ground-breakers. Above all more people will be having their words written in their own voice.’

Oli Frape, illustrator and typographer

Frith Kerr

‘The future of typography is unwritten.’

Frith Kerr, founder, Studio Frith

You can join the discussion and Tweet your vision of #FutureOfType @stbridelibrary

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