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Kath’s take on: What Lies Beneath by Dalton Maag

23rd Mar 2017

Find out what Kath thought of the talk we attended last night: What Lies Beneath – A Typography Talk by Dalton Maag

What Lies Beneath – A Typography Talk by Dalton Maag

So, it’s Wednesday night and Sarah and I are off the Cardiff Met to attend a typography talk given by Bruno and Tom of Dalton Maag.

From cave paintings to digital type

The two hour talk just whizzed by and I followed every word, could picture every typeface mentioned and basically found myself understanding everything that was said. Not usually the case when everyone around me is talking hashtags, SEO and divs….I’m slowly learning but there is something to be said about for an evening dedicated to the fundamentals of typeface design. I particularly liked the ‘history bit’; the evolution of communication from cave paintings and symbols through to early forms of Cyrillic, Latin and Arabic, concluding in the theory that lettering evolved so that people could work out how to pay taxes? Typical!

Typeface development

A bespoke typeface can take up to 4 years to develop properly and in all it’s weights, variations and languages options. That sounds a long time but when you consider that Chinese, for instance, has many thousands of characters in multiple variations…and lets not forget Arabic, Korean…the list goes on. Suddenly development time that runs into years rather than months, does not seem so weird.

Sexy and iconic

These boys were passionate about what they do, excitable and drenched in knowledge and experience about how to go about designing a typeface that excites, has longevity, is global and meets the criteria of today…and let’s face it, that is a BIG criteria. Aside from ‘everyday’ use, web and mobile devices alone have added a significant factor to how a font is designed, with data size being a major factor. To see what goes into a font design to fit today’s market was extraordinary and a real eye opener. So many factors to consider; legibility for different uses, the ‘feel’ of the font, data size, kerning, tracking, accents…the list goes on… far more aspects than we (designers) can begin to imagine. Fonts designed to pioneer not emulate, delicious, sexy and iconic.

Kids have it so easy nowadays!

Designed to lift the spirit, every aspect is fine tuned, honed for the perfect result and ease of use. …I agree with Bruno…you kids have it SO easy!

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