How Lettering Became Gendered and Why it is Wrong

How Lettering Became Gendered and Why it is Wrong

Describing issues as “masculine” or “female” in design and typography is traditionally and culturally loaded. Language is robust, typography makes language concrete. Language has a shared which means and heritage. The typographic ancestry of “masculine” and “female” lines an immediate bloodline to folks like De Vinne and Loos. When they write “refined and mild” is female, “robust and daring” is masculine, they’re actually pronouncing “ladies are susceptible, males are robust”. It’s that easy. This language is corrupt and bankrupt in as of late’s society. Gender shouldn’t be used as a metaphor when higher, more effective language is to be had. Recently Klim launched a brand new typeface referred to as Epicene. The challenge took a couple of decade. Despite looking to assemble a linear narrative concerning the design and construction, it used to be a messy procedure. Formal font design and drawing came about in suits and spurts, Baroque artwork and sort historical past analysis used to be sporadic. Reading articles and essays about gender and sexuality in society bubbled along the whole thing else, underpinned through my longstanding, however unarticulated sense that gendering fonts (and different issues) is mistaken. Sontag’s Notes On “Camp” used to be the conceptual anchor. It wove in combination the disparate threads I used to be operating with: baroque, gender, camp and taste. Epicene takes its title from Sontag’s essay, in particular level Nº11: “Camp is the triumph of the epicene taste.” To be epicene method to lack gender difference, to have sides of each or neither. In making use of this perception to a typographic context, I’m calling out the tendency that codes fashionable, practical or ‘impartial’ visible bureaucracy as ‘masculine’, whilst equating anything else ornate or ornamental with ‘female’ characteristics. The gendering of ornamentation turns out borne of cultural amnesia or myopia. Decorative materials and equipment are usually worn through each males and ladies as of late, particularly through non-Europeans; highly-decorated illuminated manuscripts had been made when males ruled creative manufacturing; and all the way through the 18th century, lace, leggings, wigs and prime heels had been worn similarly through males and ladies. While aware of historical past, Epicene is now not a revival typeface. It is an experiment in modernising Baroque letterforms with out muzzling their decorative idiosyncrasy nor falling into the entice of gender codifications. It’s a company remark that fonts haven’t any gender. All fonts are certainly epicene.  » Read More

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