How can modern technology be used to create a typeface that evokes a feeling of nostalgia?

Throughout history, type styles have come and gone, changed and stayed the same. The one piece that stays constant is that they are rooted in communication.

Before billboards, sign painting was a common use for advertisement. It was a very valuable trade that required the painter to make each piece legible and reproduced perfectly to ensure brand consistency .

With the invention of the letter press came the the first instance of moveable type. This opened up a a whole new world of typesetting, layout and production. Being set by hand it revolutionized the way the masses could receive content in a quick and legible way.

The goal of this project will be to create a typeface that is modern, but still has qualities from early sign painting and woodblock letter press — ultimately evoking the nostalgia that exists in typography from these methods. The final application intended for the thesis show will exist in a physical and digital medium. My hypothesis is that these feelings will be better conveyed in the physical space. I’m hoping to have stamps of each letter for people to use along with posters/newspapers hung using the type to show it in application. Along with this, I would like to have a document set up for people to test out in a digital space.

Why is it pertinent?

While the argument can be made: “Does the world really need another typeface?” The answer is no. However, for this project the goal is to go deeper than just creating a niche typeface that can live on dafont for some random typenerds to use. The goal is to dive into research of why we find these certain styles nostalgic. Research how type has evolved over the years (ie. in crease in legibility etc.) and see if they can live together in the same font. Maybe all of this already exists? Either way, i’m going to find out.

Why am I eligible to solve this problem?

Over the past year I’ve been working at a design studio in town called Consume & Create. Building type systems, setting type and exploring typefaces is part of my daily work. I’m fortunate enough to work alongside some true veterans of the industry and learn directly from them — ultimately, fueling my love for typography.

Thanks for reading.

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