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Arts & Culture

What Typography Tells Us About Ourselves

Unless you’re a designer, you might not think about fonts very much. You might have to if you’re stuck doing a company newsletter. But if you stop and really look around you, typography of all kinds surrounds us every day. It creates a visual fabric for our lives and language.

On today's show, we continue a mini series on design with a conversation about typography. What’s the role of fonts in your life? Do you have a favorite one for different purposes? Have you ever thought about what goes into the creation of a typeface? Designers join us in studio to talk about this, including Alexander Isley with us in Hartford, and Nikki Villagomez, who joins us from Cleveland. 

We look at what we can learn about Connecticut's own sense of identity from its signs. Is there an iconic sign that, for you, really defines a particular place in the state? Letterpress artists from Hartford Prints! join us in studio as well. They're contributing through type to an identity for Hartford and beyond for the whole state.

Designer Massimo Vignelli, in the film Helvetica, said typography is not so much about the ink on the page:

"A good typographer always has sensitivity about the distance between letters. We think typography is black and white. Typography is really white, you know. It’s not even black. It is the space between the blacks that really makes it. In a sense, it’s like music. It’s not the notes; it’s the space you put between the notes that makes the music."

Our guest Nikki Villagomez is planning a talk on typography and culture on Thursday, September 12, 6:00 pm, at The Grove in New Haven.



This program originally aired on September 10, 2013. 

Arts & Culture

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