Beatrice Warde Speaks and Type Geeks Listen

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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So you love type. What designer does not? Type is the jewel in the design crown. It is also the tool that makes us literate. People who write about type are to literacy what the disciples were to the New Testament. And yes, there is a religious intensity about type that type geeks cultivate.

One of the greatest writers in the type bible was (and is) Beatrice Warde (1900–1969). She was an American typographic expert who was the publicity manager for the Monotype Corporation, and editor of the Monotype Recorder and Newsletter for most of her career. She coined the “Crystal Goblet” notion that type is a transparent vessel for meaning.

Her writing could be very accessible but also decidedly for the type nerd vs. the general public. I found this curious manuscript on the history of type published by Common Ground, for which she wrote an introduction. The typewriting is a little hard to read but the words are gems that make it worth it.

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