theory


Theory refers to contemplation or understanding of process, often contrasted to practice and action.

From the single-style, monolingual fonts of the metal-type era to the complex, sprawling, multi-script families of the digital present, typography and type design have evolved, not only to embrace developments in print and communication technology, but also to support a world where unity and diversity must meet if we are to survive.
Essays · 2 October 2017 · English · 1302 words
Aware that there is no such thing as total neutrality, Neutral typeface explores how the absence of stylistic associations can help the reader to engage with the content of a text.
Typeface stories · 21 March 2014 · English · 1847 words
In November 2010 Peter Biľak was invited to give a talk at a one-day conference ‘Conceptual Type – Type led by ideas’ in Copenhagen about the underlying ideas behind typefaces. This lecture questions the possibility of conceptual type and compares type to other disciplines.
Essays · 24 February 2011 · English · 1738 words
Third in the heavily subsidised series ‘Graphic design in the Netherlands’, Jan van Toorn, Critical Practice takes on the difficult task of exploring and striving to elucidate the work of Jan van Toorn (JvT), a designer who is not always clear about his intentions, who makes frequent use of inexplicable images and text, and whose work is often described with concepts such as ‘alienation’, ‘incomprehensibility’, ‘defamiliarisation’, ‘digressions’ and ‘intrusion’.
Reviews · 16 July 2008 · English · 896 words
More than 35 years after the seminal art book Ways of Seeing was published, Peter Biľak looks closely at its continuing relevance.
Reviews · 5 June 2008 · English · 1256 words
An essay on the history and definition of type families, type design parameters, and the possibilities of creating larger type systems today.
Essays · 31 January 2008 · English · 2705 words
What do we mean by the term typography? Before starting any discussion it is useful to clarify the terminology and definition of the word. This is a first from the regular columns that Peter Bilak writes for online version of the Swedish magazine CAP & Design.
Essays · 13 May 2007 · English · 512 words
Essays · 11 April 2007 · Korean · 1501 words
Essays · 11 December 2006 · French · 1345 words
An honest appraisal of the role discussions about type design have in the broader culture today, and why there is a need for a more cohesive discussion within the field.
Essays · 7 June 2005 · English · 1142 words
An epistemology of the word ‘experimental’ as it applies to design and type, contrasted with its scientific connotations. Examples of past and current design, type and reading/language, as well as scientific experiment, are taken into account.
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 2063 words
The abstract for Emily King’s doctoral thesis which focuses on typeface design in the United States, England and the Netherlands between 1987 and 1997.
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 392 words
The introduction to Emily King’s doctoral thesis which focuses on typeface design in the United States, England and the Netherlands between 1987 and 1997 (part one).
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 1661 words
The introduction to Emily King’s doctoral thesis which focuses on typeface design in the United States, England and the Netherlands between 1987 and 1997 (part two).
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 12205 words
The introduction of Emily King’s doctoral thesis which focuses on typeface design in the United States, England and the Netherlands between 1987 and 1997 (part three).
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 9537 words
The first chapter of Emily King’s doctoral thesis which focuses on typeface design in the United States, England and the Netherlands between 1987 and 1997 (part one).
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 15154 words
A brief look at Peter Bilak’s ‘synthetic’ approach to type design which examines both his earlier Eureka and more recent Fedra families.
Typeface stories · 1 December 2004 · English · 838 words
A poetically theoretical take on the fluid state of type, design and the vernacular in digital form as they relate to language and contemporary culture.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 1267 words
Walter Benjamin’s ideas are explored (amongst other early 20th century avant-garde artists) in relation to the recent discussions around expanding the designer’s role from that of problem solver to one of author—and producer.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 1404 words
An examination from 1996 of the history and concept of the designer as author, starting in the first decades of the 20th century.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 4801 words
A talking Barbie lush as a foil for the Mac’s Speech functions; debates about the value of capital letters; Derrida, Saussure and Foucault; Oliver Sachs and Chaucer are all considered in this theoretical piece about the state of typography in new media.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 2075 words
‘Scientific’ studies of typography and legibility are analysed by Ellen Lupton...
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 1246 words
A history of visual design and arts pedagogy, the Bauhaus, semiotics and gestalt theories as they apply to modern graphic design education.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 6235 words
Part five of ten of Emily King’s dissertation for the V&A/RCA M.A. Course in the History of Design. The dissertation focuses on the relationship between graphic design and film in the middle of the past century. Saul bass, Hitchcock, Clement Greenbrg, Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood: the American avant garde and kitsch...
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 3705 words
A theory-heavy, mid-1990s look at the concept of Deconstruction, looking at its origins in French post-structuralist discourse and then current use in the design world.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 5125 words