Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Decline

My friend and co-worker (by way of telecommuting) Matt is writing his thesis these days, the culmination of two and a half years of amazing work. I've been working with Matt for a little over two of those years, and in that time, I travelled the world, designed things I never dreamt possible, and really believed in what we were doing.

However, my recent experience with the Toronto design scene has left a slightly sour taste in my mouth. Studios that believe that typography is dead, that concept isn't as worthwhile as slickness. "Dazzle them with photography! Attack them with Trade Gothic!" - these are the cries of the corporate studios. Nepotism awards jobs to failed interior designers with no visual design training.

Those who actually believe typography is alive use the term without meaning. For them, typography is placing a font on a page. Nothing more. Meta is tracked horrendously to fit ragged right text boxes. Letters are compressed, stretched, faux bolded, and force italicized. I watch as typefaces from the 1980s are applied to pieces with an Art Deco aesthetic. I cringe, but have now learnt that speaking up is only condemning oneself to the life of a pariah.

I tell myself that my way is right. That the path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish, and the tyranny of evil men. And I resolve to stay unemployed until I find the right job.

And it's been worth it. Kind words, at the perfect timing. Upon returning to my computer a couple of nights ago, I found an iChat message, waiting from Matt. From the introduction of his thesis was this:

(Just to be clear, given that sarcasm rarely comes across on the internet, I don't actually think I'm the righteous man or the only one who gets typography. Humour, people. Humour.)


zara said...

hey – you need to change your Typographica link.
It is (cause canada has a problem with Stephen not being in, uh, canada.)

Design Monkey said...

Thanks Zara. Had updated my personal bookmarks, and had neglected my little blog.