Wednesday, February 6, 2002
Dean of Fine Arts, Macalester College
How do we choose type? Modern typography is comprised
of a grab bag of styles, old and new, but not a dominant one. What
matters is the purpose for which we use these varied type styles.
Godollei presented a slide show history of typography, including
ornate illuminated manuscripts from the 15th century, an 1898 Art
Nouveau poster, a 1912 Harley Davidson ad, some 1920s revolutionary
poetry, a 1933 King Kong movie poster, optical art from 1962, 1990s
fonts, and 2001 new calligraphy. For the
complete list of artwork, click here.
A short discussion period followed the slide show. A question was
asked about whether there are rules to be followed when choosing
fonts. In the 90s, anti-aesthetics - in which the only rule was
to break the traditional rules to make visuals more dynamic - was
popular. However, for a serious message it is best to follow the
rules of readability to help convey the basic message. This discussion
led to Web sites and animated type. Godollei noted that designers
are mining from the past and adapting this material for the Web.
The placement of print on the computer screen to enhance readability
was discussed. Godollei drew a comparison to the placement of text
in newspapers and noted that the size of columns in newspapers has
its history in the hand-setting of letters.
Godollei summarized by saying that no matter how carefully we choose
typography, the resulting communication is in the eye of the beholder.
teaches Printmaking, Advanced Printmaking (intaglio, relief, lithography,
screenprint, handset type, computer/photo prints), 2-Dimensional
Design, Women in Art, and Senior Seminar at Macalester College.
She received an M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota. Her work
has been included in juried national exhibits and she has been credited
with almost single-handedly launching the art-car movement in the
Twin Cities. More
information on Ruthann Godollei.