Most of the designers featured in Poynor’s book are still active today, and some remain among the field’s most prominent figures. Yet the fervent search for new forms no longer seems to energize the larger profession. Typeface designers are focused on creating useful, solidly researched fonts for general communications rather than high-concept faces addressing questions of chance, decay, and technological breakdown. New modes of experimentation have emerged in areas such as system design, code-driven graphics, and data visualization. Although these areas can yield astonishing visual results, a sense of order and sobriety prevails.
Tucked into a corner is this comment by Tobias Frere-Jones: “The contortions of the 1990s will fall out of favor, but not before showing us what the tools can do.”