Programme

Controlled inconsistency

What designing Greek can teach most typeface designers

Thursday 29 October, 11:40 (40 minutes)

Mr Gerry Leonidas, Senior Lecturer in Typography, University of Reading

Until designers learns how to achieve a consistent, homogeneous texture in their typefaces, they will think it is the most difficult aspect of the task. Then, the moment the grey is harmonious, the white and black bits intertwine smoothly, and all the fitting is done, it will become obvious that the tricky bit is just beginning: in the shadows of consistency lie the dangers of blandness and banality. With few exceptions, the Latin script has managed to excise most of the vitality associated with writing to the ephemeral domain of display typefaces. But, as anyone who has attempted to design a Greek typeface can testify, the Greek script exists on a knife edge between typographic uniformity and the excesses of a drunk scribe escaping his creditors. If you want a crash course on re-thinking how you design typeforms, Greek is all you need.