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Two Types of Type: Part II

Jake Cowan

Multimodal Writing

Previously in this space, I used the work of the late Adrian Frutiger to illustrate a particular way of thinking about typography. According to that view, a typeface is best when it goes unnoticed. Font is meant to invisibly transmit an writer’s point, without the letterforms interfering with either the author’s intent or the reader’s interpretation. Responding to the advent of the personal computer during the late 1980s, in “The Electronic Word: Literary Study and the Digital Revolution” rhetorician Richard Lanham described this conventional

What Does the Font Say?

khubbard

Multimodal Writing

We are writing more than ever before—in the US we send 6 billion text messages a day, while every minute Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content, Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times, and email users send over 200 million messages. How often are we trying to convey emotion in those messages? How often does our messages get misinterpreted? How many people can recall a disagreement that happened because text is bad at conveying emotion? Can fonts convey emotions?

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Two Types of Type: Part I

Jake Cowan

Multimodal Writing

A few weeks ago, on September 10th, Adrian Frutiger passed away in his native Switzerland at the age of 87. If you don’t recognize his name, that’s just as well: Frutiger was among the foremost typographers in the latter half of the Twentieth Century, and a strong proponent of the belief that a typeface is best when its not noticed at all.

Introducing Our Fall 2015 Research Priorities: Typography

DWRL Staff

Multimodal Writing

Image showing a collection of movable type pieces

In the 2015-2016 academic year, researchers in the Multimodal Writing Research Area will research modern typography and explore the technological, pedagogical, and theoretical relevance of typography to digital rhetorics. The proliferation of design technologies give users an increasing opportunity to make design choices; typography, sometimes assumed to be rhetorically neutral, in fact represents an important set of rhetorically-charged design choices.

Introducing Our Research Areas: Multimodal Writing

DWRL Staff

Multimodal Writing

Stacks of white Scrabble tiles, with blue letters

The Multimodal Writing research area is founded on the assumption that all writing is already multimodal—even traditional or analog writing. “Multimodal writing,” then, is not simply the practice of remediating text or supplementing it with additional media; rather, the DWRL sees “multimodality” as being at the core of writing itself—a potential site of interaction between analog and digital writing technologies and between human and nonhuman actors.