What is the purpose of embellished type?

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jient's picture
Joined: 15 Jan 2008 - 10:06am
What is the purpose of embellished type?

1. How can you define what is embellished type?

2. At what point do people think that type becomes decorative?

3. How do these issues change over time?

4. Do trends have impact on the way its embellished?

Thanks in advance
Joe Francis

H F's picture
Joined: 29 Mar 2007 - 3:37pm

Why are you asking these questions? We aren't writing your school paper are we?

Simon Daniels's picture
Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm

Joe is a "Typographic Advertiser" so maybe this is for a font ad?

Nicholas Mulley's picture
Joined: 12 Oct 2005 - 10:37am

Hi Joe

1 and 2. I would define embellished type as type that has crossed the border into becoming a decoration, a blend of decoration and typography; where this cross is however would be up to the viewer or designers opinion.

3. How these issues change over time is a good question. I don't know if they do. Looking back to type used as illuminated caps, it was though that the letters would be so complex to read that the poorer people who had difficulty reading, wouldn't be able to read them at all. For the people who could read well, they would be able to admire the craftsmanship put into the caps, to work as a hierarchical dominance.

This isn't necessarily the same now of course, and with works from typographic artworkers such as Si Scott, Tauba Auerbach and the likes it is produced to visually please the viewer. Si Scotts work in particular is very literal, the wording can be easily read; but Auerbachs work can have more complex meaning, personally not a pleasing to the eye though.

Also I suppose some of these newer styles of embellished type could be seen as difficult to read to some people, although not for the same reasons as to illuminated caps.

4. A lot of design has gone organic as of late, and very decorative, but I don't know if this is a different trend. If you look at illuminated caps for example they have nature based images embedded. It might be interesting to find out why embellished type has a lot of organic growth? The work of Marian Bantjes work is not quite so organic, still very decorative though, and very attractive.

Why are you asking these questions? We aren’t writing your school paper are we?

Should this matter? This is a typographic forum where people come to find out information, and I think it is an interesting subject to talk about.