Amy Papaelias reflects on a Teaching Type panel she participated in a couple of months back. Her key takeaways:
- Surprise! There are many ways to teach typography.
- Reading matters. Well, maybe sometimes. Not always. But it should. Most of the time.
- Screen typography is just typography.
- “Good” typography is a loaded term.
- Typography education doesn’t end with one class.
Lots of great discussion in here, which resonates with me. Personally, I believe typography is up there with persuasive speaking and computer programming in terms of contemporary subjects not particularly well-served currently, which I believe should be more broadly infused into everything we teach and learn. Papelias writes:
Typography is embedded in every design class where language is represented in visual form. We teach typography all the time: when we teach web design, or senior thesis, or branding, or design history, or interaction design or even introductory classes taken prior to the actual Typography course.
I just think that scoping this to design education is way too small. There’s a ton in the design world that is inexorably bound up with capitalism and elitism. The part of good typography that has to do with communicating better—everyone needs access to that, not just companies which can afford to invest in improving their branding and footprint, and not just publishers who control access to information and compete with each other on the qualities of their experiences over the quality of their content.
How do we broaden access to the basic skills of typography that have to do with improving one’s ability to communicate?