MPP Draft 1.1

This is still not my final version:

Research Question

Is it possible to make typography that enhances the content of a text in a manner that is functional i.e. readable but that does not resort to superficial visual tricks to amplify meaning?

Aims and Objectives

To examine the relationship between language, text and typography.

To develop an understanding of the nuances of typography, particularly typographic hierarchy and the extent to which the reader can be controlled or manipulated by these interventions.

To further develop the polarised debate that dichotomises Modernist typography against post-Modern typography.

To create a way forward that melds text and typography to reinforce meaning.


Visually-literate readers: publishers, artists, typographers and designers.


My initial idea was to work with chapter-length, continuous texts, however, my outcomes in unit 2.3 have been posters – as there is a difference between design for posters and design for books, my initial research will look at posters and shorter texts.

Left to Right by David Crow has been a good introduction to the area of study.

Orality and Literacy by Walter Ong has been a great starting point for thinking about the relationship between between language, text and typography.

On Typographic Signification by Gerard Mermoz has helped crystallise some of my ideas and has pointed the way to further reading and research.

Bridget Wilkin’s essay Type and Image has been a starting point for thinking about the potential for typography to exist in spaces outside of the modernist grid.

Action Plan

Generate a series of works that explore typographic hierarchies.

Research typographic hierarchies within early and mid Modernism, in particular, the work of Josef Müller-Brockmann, Emil Ruder and Armin Hofmann.

Survey typography by Wolfgang Weingart, Rudy van der Lans, Catherine McCoy and April Greiman - and more recent work by APFEL and Marian Bantjes.

Research other forms of typographic information eg. Road signs by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert?

Reading List

Of Grammatology by Jacques Derrida

The Alphabet versus the Goddess by Leonard Shlain.

Detail in Typography by Jost Hochuli

Designing Books by Jost Hochuli and Robin Kinross

The Form of the Book Book by Sara De Bondt & Fraser Muggeridge

Typography Today by Helmut Schmid

Texts on Type: Critical Writings on Typography edited by Steven Heller & Phillip B Meggs




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