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.
Researchers in this area will therefore explore the possibilities of typographic choice not only for visual design, but also as a fundamental aspect of the materiality of writing. By considering and experimenting with typography from many possible angles—creating a typeface, researching leading, tracking, kerning, making text move, examining the intersections of analog and digital type, type and handwriting, and more—staffers in this area will explore the multimodality of text itself, and will articulate the implications of text’s multiple modes for digital rhetoric and composition.
Helvetica, directed by Gary Hustwit
Lanham, Richard. “Digital Rhetoric and the Digital Arts.” The Electronic Word.Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
Brumberger, Eva. “The Rhetoric of Typography: The Persona of Typeface and Text.” Technical Communication50.2 (2003): 206-223.