Academic journal article Printing History

Smeijers, Fred. Type Now: A Manifesto, Plus Work So Far

Academic journal article Printing History

Smeijers, Fred. Type Now: A Manifesto, Plus Work So Far

Article excerpt

SMEIJERS, FRED. Type Now: A Manifesto, plus Work So Far. London: Hyphen Press, 2003. 144 pp. ISBN 0-907259-24-3. 17.50 [pounds sterling]; $27.50.

Fred Smeijers is not only one of the best type designers working today, he is also very articulate and opinionated, which makes his books a joy to read. He was born at the right time to ride the first giddy wave of digital typography which produced a flood of exciting new designs in the 1980s. But after studying typography in Arnhem, he decided to take up the near--lost art of punch-cutting to find out what all the mystery was about. He produced Counterpunch (1966), a study of the Flemish punch-cutters of the sixteenth century related through his own experience with punches and counterpunches. He discovered that the traditional methods were very relevant to today's craft of digital type design. In Type Now he assesses the current state of typography and the problems with freeware--the notion that fonts are a commodity like soap. He is quite concerned with the morality of type use as well as the democratization of type design that has resulted from the widespread use of personal computers. …

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