Typography Trend

Or that should read:
See what I mean?
[L: Volume #27 | R: Combinatory Urbanism]


  1. Not a trend: it's a way of putting type on a surface so it fits and perhaps interacts with reading speed, context, whatever the hell is going on in the piece.

    It's like saying using windows that wrap around a corner is a 'trend'.

    Arminn Hoffman, 1965.

    Architects have a reputation among graphic designers and typographers/type designers for "knowing everything".

    Remember, an architects title or training doesn't necessarily make them good at what they do - or anything else. There ARE specifics to design in each specialisation, and the hubris of The Architect teaches the arrogant lie: I, ME, I can think through this. I already know how it works.

  2. Lance - Thanks for that link to the Arminn Hoffman illustration. I figured this wasn't something brand new, but I didn't take the time to look for precedents. And I wasn't inferring that architects invented this way of breaking up text; it's just something I noticed in two publications I've been reading. Nevertheless it may be a cyclical trend, something that comes and goes...has this type of broken up text been used consistently since at least Hoffman's illustration?

    Not sure if the last half of your comment is directed at me, but you come across as being the arrogant one. And if graphic designers/typographers have that view of architects, they must keep it fairly quiet, especially since architects and publishers of architecture books are probably a good client for them. It's a type of book that embraces creative graphic design; just see my roundup of designers that work on architecture books.

  3. Hi John, I am really glad that you are interested in this kind of typographic treatment. I am a graduate graphic design student and currently doing my thesis on typotecture. And through my research i found out that actually architects does get the proper training that lets them to set type correctly, because the principles and elements of typography and architecture are very similar. Architects know about hierarchy, rhythm, axis and datum (which is very similar with how x-height and baseline works), which we use almost the same principles to set type. They know about scale and proportions, they know about grids and much more...

    "Graphic design repeats in miniature what architecture does monumentally." -Virginia Smith

    I'm not saying that architects set type perfectly, or type designers can design buildings that are amazing, but I believe they can with enough experience. And let's not forget that one of the most influential type designers of history, was also an architect, Peter Behrens. Who once said, "Type is one of the most eloquent means of expression in every epoch of style. Next to architecture, it gives the most characteristic portrait of a period and the most severe testimony of a nation’s intellectual status.”

    Also another great quote from Massimo Vignelli "If you can design one thing, you can design everything."

    It is great to see architects who are interested in typography, and I am hoping that architects involve more in typography.

    I would recommend reading this post on the AIGA website

    also if you have time, you can check out my blog

  4. Thanks for the comment and links, Jon. I'll be sure to add your blog to my sidebar. It sounds like an interesting relationship that I only touch upon every now and then.


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