The Typographic Hub

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TYPE TALKS: Gerry Leonidas

29th January 2014

On display typefaces

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The language of typeface design is a time machine that never got out of beta. "Display" is a moderately old term, referring to somewhat older styles and uses, while messing up even older notions of naming typefaces. The last fifteen years or so are notable for the expansion of coordinated type families, the internationalisation of character sets, and the resulting problem of coordinated multi-script text typefaces. However, within this environment what we traditionally refer to as “display typefaces” has experienced an unprecedented expansion in range and complexity that easily rivals the extremes of the later nineteenth century, and far exceeds that period in nuance.  Additionally, we can point to examples of typographic innovation that straddle genres, and incorporate both vernacular and invented forms in the mainstream of typographic production.

Gerry Leonidas is an Associate Professor in Typography at the University of Reading, UK. He teaches, supervises, and lectures on typography, typeface design, and typographic education. He writes on typeface design, and is often asked to review and evaluate bodies of work. The rest of his time is taken with enterprise and knowledge transfer projects. Gerry consults on publication design and typeface design with particular focus on Greek typography. He is the Programme Director of the MA Typeface Design programme, and the TDi summer course.