Contemporary typographic practice exists at the nexus of literate culture, craft practice, educational frameworks, commercial imperatives, and demographic shifts. This practice takes place within the scope of technology that -- whether conservative or transformative -- represents layers of motivations, assumptions, and a long tail of decisions whose consequences far outlast their original frames of reference. With that in mind, this talk argues two points: firstly, that it is possible to put in place a structure for enquiry that protects against these shortcomings, enables knowledge generation that is sensitive to both historical contexts and current concerns, and reinforces informed reflective practice. Secondly, that the book celebrated in this event represents a model of such enquiry: it encompasses methods that are transparent and open to interrogation, and approaches that are transferable to other writing systems. The talk concludes with the assertion that this volume represents a paradigm shift for typographic scholarship, across writing systems.
Gerry Leonidas is a Professor of Typography at the University of Reading, UK. His research and PhD supervision focus on reframing narratives in typeface design through theoretical and archives-based methodologies. He is increasingly active in developing research methods for archives-based research from diverse sources and for diverse audiences. He works regularly on knowledge transfer projects, course development, external validation, and community outreach. He is a Past President of ATypI, and co-founder of ISTVC and the Granshan Foundation. He directs three Masters programmes on Typography and Typeface Design.