Monday, March 8, 2010


"If we are the foot soldiers in the battle of design enlightenment, Ellen Lupton is our fearless leader. This bodhisattva of typography tells us not to be attached to our exclusivity as designers, but rather spread our knowledge so that others can also experience the satisfaction that we feel when we see good kerning."
Reena Karia
Ellen Lupton was inspired by typography from when she first started Art School. She came from a family of English teachers so it seemed fitting she would be inspired by the 'visual art of writing'. She went on to found the Design Writing Research Lab with her partner and then became curator at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Her Curatorial work provided another arena in which objects, images and text functioned as both the method of communication and the subject of inquiry. And she has widely contributed to the theory of typography with essays like, " Science of typography ' and “Fluid Mechanics: Typographic Design Now,”
It was a little difficult to find information about Ellen's contribution to typography, as it seems she is mainly famous for writing about other people and theory surrounding typography, then her own typographical work.
Her 2004 book, "Thinking with type" seems widely acclaimed. This is a basic guide to typography which can be used by anyone. It is a part of her focus on bringing design awareness to a wider audience. She also uses websites, blogs and twitter to further this aim. "Thinking with type" and its accompanying website is especially popular for its "Crimes against Typography" segment, which as the name suggests, points out some common problems in the field.
Another project which attempts to democratise typography is her "Free font Manifesto" and blog. Her attempt to begin an open-source movement in the typeface design community was very controversial and raised some interesting issues about the social conditions governing typographical production.

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