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robertogreco : robertbringhurst   5

Casey Gollan on Twitter: "Will never get over how Robert Bringhurst blockquotes the biggest ever truthbomb right at the beginning of The Elements of Typographic Style"
"—Everything written symbols can say has already passed by. They are like tracks left by animals. That is why the masters of meditation refuse to accept that writings are final. The aim is to reach true being by means of those tracks, those letters, those signs — but reality itself is not a sign, and it leaves no tracks. It doesn’t come to us by way of letters or words. We can go toward it, by following those words and letters back to what they came from. But so long as we are preoccupied with symbols, theories, and opinions, we fail to reach the principle.

—But when we give up symbols and opinions, aren’t we left in the utter nothingness of being?


- Kimura Kyūho, Kenjutsu Fushigi Hen [On the Mysteries of Swordsmanship], 1768
robertbringhurst  writing  symbols  theories  howewrite  meditation  kimurakyūho  finality  tracks  tracking  signs  reality  letters  words  canon  principles  principle  opinions  nothingness  being 
january 2017 by robertogreco
A Refutation of The Elements of Typographic Style — re:form — Medium
"& also something of a backdoor defense of creative freedom"

"It’s the typography reference book you’ve heard of. The one everyone recommends to everyone else. If you’re a student it’s probably at the top of your list of resources; if you’re a teacher, you probably put it there. If you’re not a designer but have ever asked the question “What font should I use?” the answer you’ll most likely get is “Look into Bringhurst.”

Experience teaches us that neither texts nor typefaces can be reduced to a single meaning because the context in which a typeface is used is always intruding on the effects that a typeface will produce. Designers do, of course, strive to find the typeface that feels right for a given text or project. But the forces pressing on that sense of feel flow only partly from the personality of the typeface. In addition to historical echoes, typefaces have quite immediate contemporary associations; projects exist in specific contexts (from the locality of a Pilates studio to the globality of the internet); non-designers such as authors, editors, and clients exert powerful influence — this is the reality of designing with type. The decision of what font to use is far more complex a process than ETS ever portrays or investigates, despite asserting that this very practice is the “beginning and end” of typography.

No typeface is an ever-fixed mark. This turns out to be incredibly freeing, as it opens up greater creative space for designers. In fact, working with type is a process, perhaps more than anything, of unlearning the historical bondage of a given typeface, of chipping off the ossified shell of past uses to find ways to make a type’s qualities resonant with and relevant to the current age. Otherwise typography is just a matter of historical plug-and-play. Where Bringhurst uses “discern,” the better word would actually be “control” to describe the designer’s art. It’s more common to speak of a designer’s control over type and the page than his or her obedience to historically determined features, mannerisms, or aesthetics. Designers are free to work with or against a type’s qualities at will, thus unfixing those very features that ETS would have us believe are historically set.

The position I’m framing is not old versus new — please don’t mistake my argument. It’s not traditional versus modern, Bembo versus Futura. Rather, at issue here is restriction versus potential: protect a specific set of choices versus open the field to the exploration of everything. My point is that it’s counterproductive, countercreative, to morally charge the art of working with type. We wouldn’t moralize cadmium red or C sharp major when teaching brush technique or the scales. To do so in typography stunts the full breadth of expression that designers need to draw upon. There is no method, T. S. Eliot said (of becoming a critic), but to be very intelligent. Take it from a Modernist. Take it from a poet. Use all the fonts. Use all the tools. Denying them is counterproductive to the exploration of new idioms and new aesthetics in the service of new eras and new histories."
typography  graphicdesign  2014  unlearning  sampotts  robertbringhurst  elementsoftypographicstyle 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Adactio: Journal—Billboards and Novels by Jon Tan
"Understanding how people read is a core skill for anyone designing and developing for the web. First, you must understand language. There’s a great book by Robert Bringhurst called What Is Reading For?, the summation of a symposium. Paraphrasing Eric Gill, he says that words are neither things, nor pictures of things; they are gestures.

Words as gestures …there are #vss (very short stories) on Twitter that manage to create entire backstories in your mind using the gestures of words.

A study has shown that aesthetics does not affect perceived usability, but it does have an effect on post-use perceived aesthetics. Even though a “designed” and “undesigned” thing might work equally well, our memory the the designed thing is more positive.

Good typography and poor typography appear to have no affect on reading comprehension. This was tested with a New Yorker article that was typeset well, and the same article typeset badly. The people who had the nicely typeset article underestimated how long it had taken them to read it. Objectively it had taken just as long as reading the poorly-typeset version, but because it was more pleasing, it put them in a good mood.

Good typography induces a good mood. And if you are in a good mood, you perform tasks better …and you will think that the tasks took less time. Time flies when you’re having fun."
howweread  jontan  reading  online  web  internet  design  typography  booksericgill  robertbringhurst  words  gestures  mood  emotions  2013 
february 2014 by robertogreco
A Reason for Everything . . . — Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers
"There is nothing finer than reality, so far as I'm concerned, and yet there seems to be no life unless reality is coupled with imagination, and attention to reality is coupled to imagination. You give people some simple, abstract marks, which represent some speakable sounds, which represent in turn some thinkable meanings, and they supply the pictures for themselves. Still, reality underlies imagination, an attention to reality trues and tunes imagination. That's how listening works, and listening is the foundation on which reading and writing is based."
meaningmaking  meaning  abstraction  living  life  books  stevenheller  2012  writing  listening  noticing  attention  imagination  reality  robertbringhurst  reading  via:tealtan 
february 2012 by robertogreco

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