5. Experts Interview

Interview with Prof. Pablo Medina

Assistant Professor of Communication Design
School of Art, Media, and Technology, Parsons The New School for Design
Type Designer, founder of Graphic design studio Cubanica

After having several iterations of sketches and prototypes I visited professor Pablo Medina, who is a type designer and teaching typography classes in Parsons Communication Design. He showed great interest in my project and talked about the possibility as a replacement of textbooks. He said if I can incorporate text with my application, then it could probably replace textbook since it has a lot of components the book Designing with Type has except for the text.

One of the most important inspirations that he gave to me was the possibilities as a teaching tool in class room situation. He asked me about the connectivity with projector and we could imagine historical and gorgeous typefaces being displayed on the screen. He also talked about the value of ‘physicality’ of the typefaces on iPad. The object oriented quality of type, because you can almost hold that ‘A’,  is just like one step away from actually being able to hold it on your hand.

As a learning and teaching tool, he suggested to include historical information. However, since my intention was not making an entire text book by doing everything, I thought it could be a brief description about a paragraph. For this content, we also talked about the possibilities of using data from the internet. I thought about leveraging Wikipedia pages for this historical information.

Interview with Prof. Julia Wargaski

Assistant Professor of Communication Design
School of Art, Media, and Technology, Parsons The New School for Design
Specializing in information design and design methodologies

As an expert in data visualization and information design, professor Wargaski also showed great interest and gave me great inspiration. She encouraged me to think about more diverse and intensive interactions which are not possible in books and printed materials. For example, multiple comparisons can be more dynamic with drag and drop. For this, there could be a micro navigation menus for instant access for types.

Interview with Prof. Hyunmee Kim

Professor, Communication Design
Samsung Art & Design Institute
Author of the book ’33 essential typefaces for good design’

Since there are many different designs from various type foundries, she suggested to show the detailed font name with type foundry on specimen. For example, Garamond has different versions such as Adobe Garamond Pro, ITC Garamond, Garamond 3.

For the type classification, she said the complete Vox Classification system might be too complicated for the beginners. She recommended to refer to Adobe’s classification system for simplification.

One of the most important comments was that the application lacks content about the question ‘What is good typography?’ Even though my focus for this project is individual letters and the form of types, I had to incorporate basic content for type setting, since it cannot be thought of separately from individual letter forms.

Interview with Prof. Fritz Park

Graphic Designer, Part-time faculty at SADI

He was also interested in the possibility of visualizing different versions of same typeface. For example, Bodoni has different designs such as Bauer Bodoni, Berthold Bodoni Antiqua, LTC Bodoni 175, Linotype Bodoni and Filosofia. Providing various versions of types will help designers to understand and find best typeface for specific design.

Interview with Prof. Charles Nix

Chairman of the Board, Type Directors Club / Scott&Nix Inc.

He talked about the advantages and disadvantages of the model – five classic types(Garamond, Baskerville, Bodoni, Century, Helvetica). There are huge missing gaps between Century and Helvetica from the viewpoint of typeface design. Also the model misses Humanist types such as Centaur or Jenson. However, the intention of the five classic types are about focusing only on really historically important types and not overwhelming the students. Consequently, I could think about expanding the five classic types with horizontal scrolling by adding additional elements to the left and right side of the screen.

He also talked about complicated font license issues from diverse type foundries. Since I was contacting Adobe for the font license, I decided to use Adobe types and iOS system default fonts only for the first phase which will make this issue simple.

He was thinking about using ‘Type Settings’  mode in teaching situations and asked about print functionality. Since iOS 4.3 supports Air Print which is a printing feature with wireless connection, I was thinking about this expansion. He said it would be great if the students could practice kerning and print their work directly. On the other hand, this may cause different license issues about the fonts. Since the license for read-only/specimen would be different with composing and printing purposes.