Great Expectations - How we look for meaning in type

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Florian's picture
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Joined: 7 Dec 2009 - 4:35pm
Great Expectations - How we look for meaning in type
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I started to read Great Expectations lately and I found something very interesting in the second paragraph of chapter one. A text which describes the image a little boy has of his dead parents. The interesting point is, this vision is shaped by the typeface on the tombstone of his parents as Dickens writes:

The shape of the letters on my father's, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, "Also Georgiana Wife of the Above," I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly.

Interesting to me is that obviously the author found that type might reveal something, carry a meaning of its own apart from the information in the text, and that this inherent feature of a typeface is somehow universal, as a little boy is able to reflect on it. I guess nobody is on a wrong path with taking type seriously.

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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Since I've stumbled upon that paragraph, it has set a new target to which typographic design should aspire.