And then came the web. And the mass amateurization of aesthetic skill.
These days many programmers fancy themselves web designers and the terminology of typography is disappearing from what will one day be the primary medium of publication. Web designers in general don’t seem to spend a great deal of time on even typographical basics. The minority who know about typography usually learnt it elsewhere and brought their knowledge with them when they came to the web. Most of the 20-something generation of web designers have probably bypassed print design altogether, finding it irrelevant rather than an essential tradition.
I’ve mentioned Joel Biroco’s site here a few times before and I shall go on mentioning it a few times in the future. His latest work is essential reading. He’s just reposted an article written for Design In-Flight magazine called Loss of roots in design.
Frequently I follow back links to sites of ‘web designers’ who have commented in design blogs. Nine times out of ten the design of their site is mediocre and they’re writing about programming or iPods. This is web design today, the aesthetic passion and cultured tastes of yesteryear have flown out the window to be replaced by an ever more burdensome weight of technological know-how that must be absorbed. I see this clearly coming from a print design background, but I can understand that those who started off on the web don’t want to see a problem when the solution involves looking beyond the web.
Firstly, does anyone know of any good typography courses I could enrol on? Secondly, I must get round to finishing the redesign I threatened a few months back.