On a scale of emotional temperatures, it doesn’t get any hotter than the 2019 Indian election did. And with the summer comes another TV war, in the shape of the 2019 World Cup. The two offer similar opportunities to reflect, or riff, from a spot in the shade.
Here’s the news from typography, for the world: little things can count for a lot.
In the logo and fashion design commentariat, much press has been devoted to the recent and clear trend of established, iconic fashion companies rebranding themselves with plain, sans-serif lettering, moving away from the classic forms of Roman, serif letters. A defection to an enemy country!
Draw a flower, carefully unfurling its petals. Follow the line of its sinuous stem, adding tendrils to its flow, extending and multiplying their curves, sprouting a bud here and a leaf exactly there. Repeat, with loose wrist and elegant variation, and an ornament is born. Surely making and looking at them an innocent even natural, pleasure?
A human being, wrote sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein, should be able to fight, write poetry and die gallantly, among 18 more things. Specialisation, he famously said, is for insects.
You see it everywhere, absolutely everywhere: rough-and-ready brush lettering or something like it. It’s proudly imperfect and knowingly naive. It’s bold and inkily raw; its voice can be raucous and assertive or tremulous and quivering. It’s on posters, packaging, banners and trademarks of food brands and political movements; on literary book covers, at conferences, and perhaps most of all as messages on social media.