We just sent the latest issue of PRINT to the printer last week, and are completely elated by what we and our amazing contributors and collaborators have created.
As a sneak peek to our special Fall 2016 Typography and Illegibility issue and its brilliant cover artist, here is a reflection from PRINT editorial and creative director Debbie Millman …
“What does it mean to be legible? The word originates from the Latin legere, which literally means to read. Present-day definitions include able to be deciphered or discovered. Over the course of creating this issue of Print, we’ve been thinking about the notion of legibility quite a bit. Whether revisiting the “Legibility Wars” or our current communication tactics via data, the topic has been a popular one for designers. In crafting my own interpretation of what it means to be legible, I’ve landed on a phrase that feels right: to show up. And the notion of showing up is no more apparent than in the work and the work ethic of Shepard Fairey.
“Way back in 2007, I was just starting my podcast Design Matters. My friend, designer Kim Berlin, introduced me via email to her college buddy, the renowned street artist Shepard Fairey, so I could invite him to be a guest on my show. I know Kim urged him to say yes—why else would an artist of his caliber agree to be on a fledgling internet radio show with bad sound? Back then, I recorded my show live via two telephone lines, and as the day of the show approached, I became more and more nervous. Shepard had recently designed the iconic Obama HOPE poster for the 2008 election campaign, and he was the most famous person I’d had the opportunity to interview. Was this really going to happen?
“My greatest fear was realized several hours before the show when his assistant phoned to let me know that Shepard had been checked into the hospital for an emergency procedure. My heart broke. As I began to type the email to my producers and listeners canceling the show, I suddenly got a second call, this time from Shepard’s wife. He had awoken from his procedure and was determined to do the show. And so we went ahead with the two-phone broadcast: me in my office in New York City and Shepard in his hospital bed.
“Despite the conditions, Shepard was funny, genuine, witty, generous and present. He was a consummate professional when he didn’t have to be, and utterly charming. Even from the hospital, Shepard was able to fully show up. In the years since our interview, Shepard has continued to create some of the most iconic images of our time and has shown up in the most intelligent and meaningful ways. And once again, he shows us what he is capable of with this issue’s stunning original cover. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”
The issue contains:
- The 11 Best New Typefaces of 2016
- Lost—and Found—In Translation: How did the so-called “Legibility Wars” of the ’80s and ’90s influence design today? Steven Heller explores and explains.
- Why a Bird Sings: David Carson reflects on the current state of type and design in this manifesto.
- Data Humanism: We have reached peak infographics. Are you ready for what comes next in data visualization?
- Driven to Distraction: A look at automotive dashboards, where typography really is a matter of life and death.
- Our Love Letters column, featuring Jonathan Hoefler writing about Marian Bantjes.
- Plus, the best new books on type, the history of “type bibles” and letterheads, in-depth with Robert Bringhurst’s new book Palatino: The Natural History of a Typeface, Jan Tschichold reflecting on what he got wrong in Die neue Typographie, and much, much more.