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Online Lecture

Uncovering the History of Early Women Type Designers

  • Date
  • Time
  • Led By Lauren Elle DeGaine
  • Where Letterform Archive

According to typographer Walter Tracy, the emergence of type design as a profession occurred around the beginning of the twentieth century. At this time, Tracy says, the work of creating letterforms transitioned from being a "craft" to being an "industry." This transition marked the beginning of an era that produced typefaces “from which a standard of quality has been developed and widely understood.”

Many will recognize the famous names from this era: Bruce Rogers, Morris Benton, Frederic Goudy. But who were the women working during this important period of typographic history? Who were the women who created metal typefaces, prior to the advent of computers? This was the question Lauren Elle DeGaine asked herself in 2017, as a novice letterpress printer in a tiny print shop on the west coast of British Columbia. The question became the foundation for her Masters research, and during this talk Elle will share the results of that research: 10 women designers, 14 typefaces, a small collection of rare metal type, a discussion on digital revivals, and an invitation to consider the gendered social and labor dynamics surrounding “a woman’s type.”

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

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