Visual Language 9/14/22

Thoughts on Hoefler episode of Abstract

[See episode information here.]

I don’t think I’ve watched a video more than ten minutes long about typography since that Helvetica documentary released in the 2000s. To me, this Hoefler episode serves as a great, more up-to-date take on the work of typography design—I especially appreciated hearing Hoefler’s perspective on how he considers different weights and spacing not just between print and screens, but across the different variety of screens we see commonly used today.

I do wish we had seen a little bit more of the hands-on creative process when it came to the watchface inspired type family; while seeing the breakthrough of mixing in map inspirations was fascinating, I think it would’ve been particularly interesting to see more rounds of discussion and feedback between the designers once they split off. That division of labor alone really struck me, as I don’t know if I ever would’ve assumed that individual type designers might be tasked with designing different weights (as opposed to entirely different offshoots or special characters) once the “medium” or otherwise basic first draft of letterforms was laid out.

Another thing I would’ve loved to see Hoefler elaborate on further are the steps taken (as with the Tiffany & Co. example) when designing type or logos for a client that’s going to appear not just in 2D, but as 3D signage. I imagine that certain characteristics of type, thinner forms in particular, just don’t translate well to those mediums and I would’ve loved to hear more about those differences.–9/20/22