Sunday, October 02, 2005

The New Typography (As Of 1919)

I occasionally pride myself on having a rather extensive vocabulary, at least in comparison to the average American's linguistic capacity. I did, however, find myself struggling to comprehend the majority of this essay. It seemed Laszlo Moholy-Nagy must have cross-referenced every word with a thesaurus. It was due, I presume, to the translation from German to English, as many specificities are lost in translation, but I digress.

The article, I admit, at first appeared extremely narrow-minded. Here again, we are subjected to a designer dictating limitations and regulations on typography, telling us, "...Legibility-communication may never be forced into a preconceived framework, for instance a square."

I recouped this original hypothesis slightly, however, when I read the specifics of the original publishing date and reprinting adaptation. This shed new light on the article; a minute epiphany, if you will.

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy all of a sudden seemed very forward-thinking. He expresses looking at new developments in design and embracing them. His downfall, in my own humble opinion, is that he seems to discard what has come before, stating that photography had replaced poster-painting.

This is the modern day equivalent of designers disregarding past processes and procedures such as the letterpress and hand-made designs. Or the equal of photographers turning their proverbial backs on film and only embracing digital functionality; painters disposing of oils for acrylic.

While there is immeasurable merit in new technologies, we should not place limitations on ourselves. To view a computer as the only source for design would be irresponsible and asinine.
A computer, no matter how complex, will, one can only hope, never be able to replicate hand-made intricacies, hand-rendered illustrations, or human control over aesthetics. Nor would we want it to. The day a computer can recreate the precious marks of the human hand and visual decisions of the human mind, we will be replaced with design-robots and made into human fuel to power their creative processors. The end is nigh! Repent, sinners!

-Adam McIver


Blogger evey said...

Adam, I love that you said "but I digress..." That has got to be my second favorite phrase in the english language, right after "and furthermore..."

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Eric West said...

...the voice of reason.

11:00 PM  

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