Wednesday, January 27, 2010

a word about experimental type

I found the essay by Bil’ak, Experimental Typography, Whatever that Means, a little...well, narrow in view. Maybe a more honest evaluation would be, his point of view is an excellent argument for the overly analytical variety, yet not especially encouraging for the free spirit.

I did, however, appreciate his comparison of an experiment within the context of science, verses type design. I may say this with my jaw slightly clenched, but the capability to produce something more than once and measure the results could obviously benefit the designer. And I also agree that the phrase, It’s just an experiment, is occasionally a passive gesture to avoid responsibility for a possibly undesired outcome.

Carson describes an experiment as something he hasn’t tried before; I exhale with comfort at this definition. Yet, the author mocks Carson’s all-too-simple mind; some outcomes of possible experimentation have already been documented in history and therefore the experiment could not possibly be considered valid. Really? I guess historical ignorance could be embarrassing if an already discovered something had been claimed as suddenly discovered. But sometimes I enjoy experimenting solely for the personal experience. Who cares really if it has or hasn’t been done before if the benefit of the experience is the goal?

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