Sunday, December 13, 2009

love by hand

In the words of Margaret Kilgallen, we always talk about loving “things that show the evidence of the human hand." It seems this is a super trend in all things design right now, too. Post-perfectly-measured-machine-made type, culture embraced super expressionistic and individualistic type. From grungily-distressed to futuristically-retro typefaces, designers had too much to choose from in placing their context appropriate type, each font operating as an audience specific voice. Naturally, the next step is to move completely from the computer, away from that which limits textural quality and levels of imperfection. It's not an anti-technology maneuver. It's a simplification, an appreciation for raw talent and skill, a flip-flop of the process (emphasis on pre-production). Hand-made typefaces offer approachability, a one-of-a-kind quality, and an unavoidable cuteness. No wonder they have been so widely accepted (a few of years ago, I only noticed the then edgy layouts and illustrations of Nylon Magazine using them, now even Starbucks stickers hand-cut words on their windows). I love it! Even the irony of using handicraft digitally. Makes me wish I could go in to type design. Only, this may not last. Then, I wonder what's next? What will be the anti-handmade trend?

I ordered the above pictured book recently: Hand Job by Michael Perry. It's a collection of great handmade type from many different artists/designers. The images, drawings and crafty things are wonderful samples from the in-between---seriousness and play, slop and precision, raw gesture and perfected final product, art and design.

Thanks for inspiration ABCs!


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