Thomas Phinney, Product Manager, Fonts & Global Typography, Adobe Systems
It's easy to focus on aesthetics, but a design can look great yet fail to be sufficiently legible under real world conditions. Taking just a couple of aspects of legibility, Adobe's Thomas Phinney shows how in graphic design from web sites to children's books, designers need to be educated on legibility issues in typography. The first problem is foreground/background contrast. Does the text stand out enough from its background? The second problem is selection of typeface: is it legible enough for the intended usage? What about the so-called "infant" or "schoolbook" letterforms for children? In some cases the popular design wisdom may be dubious at best.
Today’s typographic polemics ought not to limit investigations simply to how motion affects the readability and meaning of the typographic message in dynamic screen-based contexts. Rather, a generation of young designers must learn and explore how readers can affect the meaning and readability of the message. For far too long design students have been taught to evoke meaning and emotion, following typographic paradigms to create expression and understanding for the reader. Kinetic type positions the designer to not only create, but empower the reader. The ability to allow users control of type in motion will break the reader free from the page’s inert imposition on learning.
Michèle Wong Kung Fong
Assistant Professor in Communication Design
University of North Texas
This presentation looks at the current and progressing state of typographic education and responds to the struggles revolving around teaching abstract typographic traditions and principles, systemic thinking, and software instruction to entry-level design students. It sees the potential for learning to extend outside of the classroom walls; it sees the possibilities for students to meaningfully apply design theories—principles and traditions—in practice, when using software, with the support of the software.