The Golden Age of Typography is Now


In the spring issue of Eye, Deborah Littlejohn asks twelve professionals whether we are living in a new Golden Age of type design,

“perhaps akin to that heralded by the invention of the printing press …, the rise of the independent typographer in the early twentieth century (following the development of the mechanical punch cutter and typecasting machines), or the fearless experimentation of the 1990s, triggered by the ubiquity of the personal computer and the democratisation of type production tools.”

Their answers are worth reading:

Eye: the International Review of Graphic Design (London, England: Wordsearch, Ltd., 1990- ). Firestone Library (F) Oversize NC1 .E94q.


I'm actually responding to a blog post from 4/15/08--this one:

I own a copy of this Frasconi print, and, given the usual mo of the Princeton Print Club, as outlined in a biographical sketch of Elmer Adler, I've always assumed that the portrait is based on drawings Frasconi did of Einstein after receiving the Print Club's commission.

Yet I've never read anyone unequivocally assert that this is indeed a life-portrait of the great scientist. So my question is: would that be because its pedigree is self-evident, or because 57 years after its creation, no one knows for certain?

I think that the reason for small businesses and large businesses alike are able to put out equally impressive typographical designs for advertisements is certainly due to two things: affordable graphic design software and affordable commercial printing. Anyone has at their hands graphic design tools without needing to purchase the most expensive software on the market (i.e. Photoshop), and this has allowed do-it-yourselfers with a creative side to learn a new trade that cuts costs in the marketing of their business. Cheaper software has also increased the amount of competition in the field of design, making design services much more affordable as well. With improvements in the efficiency of offset printing presses and also the growth of the internet, online printing companies are able to offer professional printing at cheap prices that nearly any business can afford. Hence, the golden age of typography, in which undiscovered artists are able to make and distribute their typographical art via poster printing, brochure printing, and other marketing materials.