I’m currently reading ‘Sex and Typography’ by Emily King. A beautiful book on the life and work of Robert Brownjohn. I must admit that my knowledge of typography needs some fine tuning. I’ve always hesitated when it comes to using letters in my graphic work and practically cried in seeing the successful and myriad uses in other people’s work. It is sometimes difficult to remember or rather sense that letters are forms too, that they have a shape and a presence on the page. This may come from my linguistic background in which I have been taught in the purely abstract existence of word morphology and semantics. However, at the same time I became acutely aware of the ‘pictorial’ and structural qualities of the letter, funnily enough, through my education and learning of the Chinese language back in the nineties. Chinese characters fascinate me, they are extremely graphic, often illustrative, linked with the logical mind as well as their past and history, they each have their own story. The western alphabets lack completely these qualities, hence we have typography and we have a string of fonts each with their own little story and cultural past to tell.
I recently came across the film title design for ‘Laws of Attraction’, by Nic Benns of Momoco studio in London. This use of the letter in mouvement seems so simple and that is where its strength lies. It takes on a form in line and in balance with the image.