Different words, same voice: Rotis ad nauseum

Anthony Cahalan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Along with images, typefaces'commonly called 'fonts''are essential to a designer's ability to communicate visually. The ease of access to desktop computer technology and a related exponential growth in the number of typefaces available to users of type led to a late twentieth democratisation of typeface design and usage. British designer Quentin Newark made the point that typefaces are the visual representation of written language and, just as language commands different voices, stresses, accents, jargon and idiom as it grows and evolves, so does the requirement for different typefaces to transcribe this diverse language into visual form. American architect and architectural theorist Charles Jencks suggested that post-modernism displayed 'an intense concern for pluralism and a desire to cut across the different taste cultures that now fracture society [and] an acknowledgement of differences and otherness'. Fred Davis, an American sociologist, noted that the postmodern period had witnessed an 'apparently contradictory relationship of world economy and cultural identities'. He concluded: "There is, on the one hand, the rapidly growing, and at times desperately exigent, global interdependence of peoples in the economic, environmental, informational, and technological realms that play so large a part in their lives. On the other hand, there is the apparently irrepressible outcropping of localisms, regionalisms, and particularisms of every sort'from the purely ideological to the ethnic, subcultural, and religious.'
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)112-119
    Number of pages8
    JournalOpen Manifesto: some thoughts on graphic design
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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