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You are here: Home / Conferences / Montréal 2017 / Programme

Typographic Dissent

Letterforms as arguments, arrangements as calls to action, and moving type as visual prosody.
When Sat 16 Sep 1520
Where UQAM, Cœur des sciences
Who Aoife Mooney
From Dadaism to the Guerrilla Girls, typography has long served as a tool for dissent and a vehicle for active conversation within an engaged population. From its inception as a mechanism for the distribution of ideas, it is a code that any literate member of society has access to and can claim as a collective voice for their cause, cohering perspectives and giving form to dialogue. Typography affords us anonymity and identity at one and the same time, and an ability to sidestep the limits of prejudice and dismissal is of particular value in the context of political or law-enforcement scrutiny. Protest graphics are an area of study as much defined by letterforms as by iconic individuals. The voices of the crowd are distilled and given force by the anonymity of a placard and messages amplified and given volume by their repetition in the crowd. This paper provides a historical survey of typographic dissent, and discusses recent examples of typography, typeface design and engineering which expand the capacity of typography as a tool for resistance.

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