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Online Lecture

For a Labor History of Typography

  • Date
  • Time
  • Lead By J. Dakota Brown
  • Where Letterform Archive

In recent years, graphic designers have presented challenges to dominant narratives within institutions of their discipline. Amid a range of intensifying social crises, long-neglected questions about working conditions and the nature of capitalism have become unavoidable.

This lecture, drawing on J. Dakota Brown’s recently completed dissertation research, argues for a new history of typographical labor. Shifting attention from the professional canon to the tools and techniques of everyday practice, Brown surveys a repressed saga of labor militancy, profit-driven automation, and anti-capitalist critique.

Our concluding discussion explores the present-day echoes of this complex and contradictory legacy: What would it mean for graphic designers to locate themselves in a labor history of typography?

This and all Letterform Lectures are a public aspect of the Type West postgraduate certificate program. Register to attend remotely.

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