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Type West Program

Online Core: Critical, Cultural, and Contextual Histories of Typography

with Silas Munro

  • Date
  • Time
  • What Type West Certificate Program
  • Where Online via Zoom

How did we get to our current hyperlinked moment of peak typography? How do we design new type amidst the deluge of fonts designed, served, and read on competing and networked cloud computing platforms? And why do certain typefaces make some people so upset? In this lecture and discussion course, we will ask and answer critical questions about typography and its creation.

Instructor Silas Munro will lead students on an exploration of divergent and interconnected histories of typography and type design, as well as links to the impacts of capitalism, colonialism, and globalism. With these lectures, supplemental readings, and short research and writing exercises, students will glance backward from our present moment and look forward to speculate on the future of type design. Together, Silas and students will chart the genealogies of contemporary type through themes of automation, craft, culture, expression, inclusivity, functionality, humanity, labor, protest, style, taste, tradition, and technology.

Learning Outcomes
  • Increased critical perspective on the history of typography and type design
  • Expanded cultural references and their significance to type and lettering
  • Deepened ability to research context and background to develop new typefaces
Required Materials
  • Open minds, and curiosity to research

Note: This workshop is only open to students enrolled in the 2022 Type West Online Postgraduate Certificate Program in Type Design.

Silas Munro

Silas Munro (He/They) is a partner of Polymode, a studio that leads the edge of contemporary graphic design through poetic research, learning experiences, and making cool shit for clients in the cultural sphere, innovative businesses, and community-based organizations, including The City of LA, Mark Bradford, MoMA, OCMA, and The New Museum. Munro’s writing appears in AIGA Eye on Design, Eye, Slanted, and W. E. B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America. Munro is Founding Faculty and Chair Emeritus at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is working on a future Strikethrough exhibition and catalogue with Letterform Archive. @siborg81 @polymodestudio @bipocdesignhistory.

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