Project Abstract: Geo/Type

My project will explore the relationship between geography and typography. More specifically, what does the type of font, or the physical manifestation of the typography (paint, etching, glass/gas/light—in the case of neon, etc.) say about a location or how does it define an environment? I theorize that history, economy, culture, and personal preference, play into the decisions made by architects, designers, artists, and urban planners (among others) when choosing a medium for their signage or projects. More curiously, what are the implications when unexpected or seemingly inappropriate typography or materials are used in place of what is expected? For instance, a corporate edifice inscribed with Edwardian Script or an MTA subway map done in Baskerville. I anticipate the answers will be as varied as the locations I’ve chosen. My methods are archival research, personal and found photography, and visualization using technologies such as WordPress, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, JavaScript and other programs (time and skill permitting—learning JavaScript is proving … challenging [gnashes teeth and clenches fists]). I want to challenge us to think about these relationships by presenting alternatives to our expectations. My locations include Rockefeller Center, 5 Pointz in Long Island City (scheduled for demolition in the Fall so I’m archiving a threatened environment), the subway system, Roosevelt Island (possibly substituted for Coney Island), the Time Warner Center (to some a modern day Rock Center), Greenwood Cemetary, and the marquees of the Theatre District.

3 comments

  1. hi,
    i just stumbled upon this beautiful proposal. it is funny that i also started documenting typefaces around my environment and i am living in new york and working in new jersey. i startes geographically tagging those letter hoping to have something to work on in the future. the project is still very young but still you may want to take a look at my instagram account with the same name ‘@geotype’. please contact me for any possible contribution to your research or collaboration.

    atif.

    1. Hi Atif. Thanks for the interest in my project. I’m just ramping up with the construction of my site/project but definitely might hit you up for a little collaboration. Best,
      Tony

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