The Role of Advanced Typographic Taxonomy Systems Vis-à-Vis Modular, Variable and Parametric Typography

Abstract

Typographic taxonomy systems categorise and describe the vast corpus of typefaces, created over centuries, and are used in teaching, commercial and professional settings. Mainstream taxonomy systems usually focus on separating neatly defined, text-bound typefaces into discrete classes, while grouping a huge diversity of display-bound typefaces and other outliers into loosely defined, generic classes. Modular and geometric typeface specimens are extremely varied and sometimes stylistically hybrid. Similarly, variable and/or parametric OpenType font specimens can cover a stylistic gamut potentially larger than those from simple typeface families or even multi-style, sans-serif+serif superfamilies (such as Rotis, Scala, etc.). The largely dominant mainstream taxonomy systems, with their typically simplistic and single-class categorisation processes, inadequately cover these complex typefaces. Moreover, the latter are used both academically and professionally, for expressive media and, particularly variable and/or parametric typefaces, also for running text (whose readability is, opposingly, paramount). The ever-increasing popularity and variety of these typefaces further exacerbates the inadequacy of mainstream taxonomy systems for academic and professional scenarios. Using advanced taxonomy systems would address these otherwise unavoidable issues and, thus, improve typography teaching, distribution of new typefaces, and typeface selection by professionals from within their already acquired/licenced collections. As a specific solution to these issues and their consequences, we present a theoretical approach, using a non-interventionist methodology of qualitative research, via literature review and observation, analysing potential advanced alternatives to mainstream taxonomy systems and proposing a further extension, in line with Brandão et al.’s 2020 proposal, to Dixon’s own purposely extensible, multi-class-tagging, parametric/descriptive system from 2002.



Author Information
João Francisco Rodrigues Gomes, CIAUD, Research Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design, Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
João Aranda Brandão, CIAUD, Research Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design, Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Teresa Olazabal Cabral, CIAUD, Research Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design, Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Elisabete Rolo, CIAUD, Research Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design, Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Paper Information
Conference: ECADE2022
Stream: Design and New Media

This paper is part of the ECADE2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Gomes J., Brandão J., Cabral T., & Rolo E. (2022) The Role of Advanced Typographic Taxonomy Systems Vis-à-Vis Modular, Variable and Parametric Typography ISSN: 2758-0989 – The European Conference on Arts, Design & Education 2022 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2758-0989.2022.19
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2758-0989.2022.19


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