A recent visit to an exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art proved to be a typographical treat for those that know their glyphs from their kerning pairs. The rather worthy sounding ‘Standard Deviations: Types and Families in Contemporary Design’ was actually much more accessible than it sounds. The museum has expanded its purview and included typefaces among the artifacts of modern design it collects. An initial selection of 23 fonts made the cut [sic] and included Milestone’s corporate font DIN (click here for the story behind its creation).
Although the actual selection will be a source of much tweeting by typographical afficionados, it was nice to see the discipline of typeface design in its rightful place along side architecture and graphic design.
Milton Glaser and Bobby Zarem’s I love New York logo was featured – a 70s iconic rebus that is now embedded in the city’s visual history as much as a yellow cab (even though it was originally design for New York State). The original artwork actually looked a little apologetic – yellowing bromides, cut out and gummed to a piece of backing card in a modest frame. Most telling was a tiny scrap of paper with a crude pencilled doodle. I guess even Mr Glaser didn’t know how significant it would later become.