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Type, technology, and beyond

There is no doubt that the primary way people interact with letterforms today is through the digital realm. On the surface, this might seem like a superficial change, but the difference is more granular than what can be seen with the eye. Explaining what a letter looks like to the computer requires intimate knowledge of the subject. To a computer, the concept of the letter A in itself is meaningless. A human programmer needs to think about how to describe the letter to the computer. This can be done in three ways: as a Unicode value, as a series of coordinates, or as an array of bytes.

As a graphic designer, Lynne Yun learned that a typeface is a visual system rather than a mere collection of individual shapes. As a type designer, Yun learned that a typeface is made up of modular shapes within the larger visual system. As a coder, Yun learned that typefaces are a system of instructions. Many insightful experiments can happen when type and technology come together. What can the machine draw when you teach it letterforms? What kinds of letters can you draw when you invent your own algorithmic tools? This talk will explore the process of creating letterforms in tandem with the computer.


Lynne Yun