Karel Martens – counterprint // The Atlantic – Playing to Type

I’ve always collected pieces of design that I love. Mostly print material. The conversation in counterprint surrounding the collection of objects really resonated with me. The materials “collected” differ from me but I understand the reason he is constantly looking for, collecting and using these things. I think collecting and surrounding yourself with art and design keeps your brain moving. Paul Elliman said that Martens collection was pretty much a recent history of art and design. I love that idea … of having your very own collection of the best design around. Elliman believes Martens collection directly and indirectly informs his designs, which I find to be the most important aspect of a collection of your favorite imagery and objects. It’s all knowledge and it all informs new ideas and becomes a giant conglomerate library of resources.

Playing to Type put in words something I always thought about in the way, way back of my head. Micheal Bierut said, “having an idea for a typeface used to be like having an idea got a new-model car.” It use to be a big deal! Now everyone and their mother can create a typeface. This article seems to embrace the flood of typefaces into the world of graphic design, but as an aspiring designer it seems to be a bit overwhelming. Wanting to become a designer in this technological age makes it easy to take for granted the great typefaces from the early history of graphic design. I have such a great appreciation for the typefaces that were designed specifically for one purpose, such as Retina which was designed for the sole purpose of use in the stock tables of the Wall Street Journal. Although, many of the typefaces of today are amazing and beautiful, I love that a font like Helvetica can have such an extensive history and even be controversial enough to have a documentary created about it. I suppose that is what every type designer strives for, even today.


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