Experimental Type Direction

Typography is the physical manifestation of language and language is the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way. It is a system of communication used by a community or a country. 

But our question now is, what really is typography?

While doing research on images for the type wall, both Jessie and I realized how difficult it was to find typography from different language, which then prompted this question. Typography isn't necessarily a universal language. Because typography stems from language and every language has its own sets of rules that are specific to it, that also means that each culture's typography will differ from our western concept of typography. If everything we understand about typography is solely based on western language, what does it mean to be an international typographer, what does it mean to be a Chinese typographer, or a Indian typographer, or a Russian typographer.

We speculate a larger question, but at this point in the process we aren't able to fathom what that may be. However, in order to reach that point we've developed a series of experiments that we believe encompasses the overarching concepts of typography and language.

1. Form
The first most common step in learning typography is studying form. As outsiders confronted with a new  languages, the first thing we can comprehend is the shape of the form. Just as we've done with the type wall, we need to see these physical manifestations of language next to each other. For instance, what would we discover if we were to arrange the typography based on geographical location. Depending on how we decide to organize our arrangement, maybe we'll discover different questions.

2. Rules
Each language has it's own rule base as does typography in order to legible and understood. For out second experiment we want to take western typographic rules and apply then to another culture and vice versa.

3. Context/Experimentation
Lastly, after understanding the form and learning the rules how can we then break both the form and the rules two combine the two cultures together. We are not trying to create a new language, we merely seek to widen our scope of typography.

Many of the examples we've seen are mostly formal relationships between cultures, studies of language in general or attempts to make new languages.

Xu Bing is an example an artist works in the medium of language He creates installations that question the idea of communicating meaning through language, demonstrating how both meanings and written words can be easily manipulated.

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