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History in use by Pentagram for "Everybody Dance Now" exhibition at AIGA in NY
"Everybody Dance Now" exhibition at the AIGA in NY, captured by Caren Litherland
Typeface Review

History

Reviewed by Ellen Lupton on April 16, 2009

History has my vote this year. Peter Bilak’s typeface speaks to the current interest across the design fields in engaging users in the design process.

But he has done it in an astonishingly sophisticated way. By breaking down the typeface into components that can be recombined in endless combinations, he has designed an open situation rather than a fixed product. The results shown in his beautiful type specimen book are fantastic; now the test is whether ordinary mortals will be able to make it work.

Try it for yourself with the online History remixer app.

Ellen Lupton is a writer, graphic designer, and curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Her book “Thinking with Type” is a basic guide to typography directed at everyone who works with words.

Photograph of “Everybody Dance Now” exhibition at the AIGA in NY by Caren Litherland.

Ellen Lupton is a writer, graphic designer, and curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Her book Thinking with Type is a basic guide to typography directed at everyone who works with words.

9 Comments

  1. Bill Gunter says:

    This font is beautiful. It gets my vote by a fonty mile.

  2. Entertaining and engaging. What more could you want?

  3. john newcome says:

    It’s nothing new, sorry; this is just mix and match different styles.
    I have seen better experiments with type at design schools, and in the swiss design journal TM.

  4. Overheard on Twitter:

    Remember how Herb Lubalin made Avant Garde look amazing, but nobody else could use it quite as well? History is like that.

  5. Yes, there are some really nice examples of good designers making History sing — just as there are of Avant Garde — but it does take a very good designer.

  6. Ryan Cole says:

    Great dynamic typeface. Czech people have spread through the world and continue to do great things. It would be awesome to see more of his work in Prague.

  7. Ryan, Peter Bilak is not a Czech designer. He is a Slovak designer living and working in the Netherlands.

    see:
    http://www.typotheque.com/authors/peter_bilak
    and
    http://www.typotheque.com/articles/lcaron

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Typographica is a review of typefaces and type books, with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design. Edited by Stephen Coles and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

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