Experimental Typography

Claire Bibio's picture

Hello people of type. I am doing research on experimental typography for a class and haven't had luck finding good textbooks or papers if any on this topic. Has any of you come across on this topic in books or essays? Could you share your sources? I'm particularly looking for material on experimental typography in book design. An example of this is VAS: An Opera in Flatland. Thank you for your help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joshua Langman's picture

Experimental typography in action:


Also, of course, Ray Gun.

And there's a book on the subject from maybe the 70s, which I can picture but can't track down. I'll work on that one.

Take a look at Marinetti. "Zang Tumb Tumb" etc.

Also, what time period are we looking at? Yesterday's experimental is today's trope.

Karl Stange's picture

Not sure if it is exactly what you are thinking of but have you seen, House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski?

eliason's picture

Experiments in Type Design, by Tobias Frere-Jones. Texts on Type: Critical Writings on Typography, edited by Steven Heller and Philip B. Meggs Allworth Press, 2001.



Claire Bibio's picture

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!thank you guys, you are so fast.

well ideally I want to cover this topic from the beginning/it's origins.

riccard0's picture

An interesting article: http://www.aiga.org/the-digital-past-when-typefaces-were-experimental/
Also, you will need to look at the work of El Lissitzky: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Lissitzky

Joshua Langman's picture

If you want to follow the history of experimental typography, you'd better start by defining what experimental means.

(And if you do so in this thread, it will help us all pinpoint more specifically relevant material.)

Claire Bibio's picture

Well, for me experimental in this case means something which is not practical and accepted by the majority. Things which are created through experiments in order for introducing new ways of seeing and interpreting old views. Please feel free to correct me or add your views on experimental. THANK YOU!

hrant's picture

If you're picky, "experimental" might better be used to mean something where the results are subjected to testing to ascertain their merit (something few graphic designers would ever consider). The preferable term here might be "speculative".


Té Rowan's picture

I haven't looked at Frank Adebiaye's site in a while, but he is into experimenting, as I recall, and I think he has written something about it. Could be shorts in my memory, though.

dberlow's picture

Irma Boom

Syndicate content Syndicate content