Hrant wrote: Painting involves making filled marks; drawing is defining
notan’s edge. See http://typophile.com/node/88004?page=2#comment-488377
I think this is too black and white.
In “notan drawing” filling in with a marker defines notan’s edge. See: http://emptyeasel.com/2008/08/12/seeing-notan-how-to-make-stronger-compo... Here notan drawing is a reductive operation that resolves a gradated scene or manifold into a light / dark composition.
In writing no such reduction is required. If the paper is white and the ink is black there is only the binary light / dark. In writing, notan’s edge is directly defined by the moving front.
In punch-cutting notan’s edge is defined by the subtractive process of cutting away.
Notan’s edge can be sharpened or recalibrated in digital technologies, but notan doesn’t have an edge until an area has been filled in or part of it cut away. Until an area is filled in the only thing that can be controlled is the trueness and action of the curve or line.
According to Kevin Larson, ganglion cells (that project from the rods and cones in the human eye to neural dendrites and axons in the visual cortex) look for edges. As far as I can find, they are also sensitive to surface polarity.
Does writing with a hand-held tool misinform?
Our internal representations of bounded maps of letters are role-unit based and feature-tolerant. That is, they are highly tolerant of variability in contrast styling and somewhat tolerant of role-architectural drift. These tolerances are enhanced by the cortical dynamics of font-tuning.
What we don’t know for sure, is if writing with the hand-held tool optimally calibrates stress.
Here is a non-ideological but hypothetical context for assessing this.
My sense is that the sub-attentive parafoveal pre-processing that occurs in immersive reading responds to coarse-grained notanic composition, not fine-grained notanic equilibrium. It responds to this in deciding what words to skip and where to land when it makes it’s next saccade. It responds to salient areas of disturbed or undisturbed expressedness, or divergent aspect, or projection beyond the x-height range.
And my sense is that effortless, effective and automatic fovea-based processing relies on fine-grained rhythmic co-ordination of the blacks and whites. Fine-grained rhythmic co-ordination of the blacks and whites according to their relative saliencies and their allocation of weight in the cue-value domain optimizes the efficiency of cortical integrational routines within the visual cortex.
This imposes countervailing pressures on the sharpening and calibration or recalibration of notan’s edge.