Generative Typography

2019

In my latest study, I investigated the possibilities offered by generative typography. Intrigued by the book “type + code: processing for designers” I began exploring the world of types influenced by algorithms. Here are my thoughts, in short.

Generative typography can react to everything. We always tried to make type express what we want to say. Stories, emotions, values. With generative type Designers, for example, instead of going through different types, can use the same typefaces to generate different shades of emotion. The word “wow” can have different acceptions, and a designer could use specific fonts to make that word express what he wants to say (let’s say a gothic if it’s a scared wow). Now, with generative type, the same type can distort following the emotions of the story, looking, for example, sharper if the word vehicles scary emotions, or more rounded if it’s about good feelings. But that’s not all; generative typography could react to screen size, making the perfect responsive type, or even to the real world, bringing the user experience to another level.

It opens a new aesthetic. It’s like nature generated by code. Even though it is possible to recreate the effects created by algorithms using traditional vectors, the types generated have such a uniqueness to them. It is the difference between a designer trying to make a wood texture with tools, and the texture of an authentic piece of wood. The two won’t be very different, but the wood will always look more unique and authentic. Same is with generated types.

Even though right now Generative typography is mostly used for research purposes or artistic implementations, it is a powerful tool that will probably evolve and become part of the designer tool kit.

Following are some experiments I did using Processing. Code by Loftmatic, type: Suisse by Swiss Typefaces

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