Question: How can typographic history and the collective reinterpretation of symbols inform contemporary notions of intellectual property?

This project is inspired by the ambiguities involved in the creation of original work, and the increasing relevance to explore this ambiguity as production methods become immaterial and back. Specifically a shift to soft-wares outside of ubiqitous physical law provoke a pertinent debate around the method of creation and evolution of digital fonts and visual letterforms.

On this page I demonstrate my process and discoveries, which most importantly were born from a fascination for the history of our letters and global alphabet morphs and migrations. This macro view of the evolution of everyone’s symbols (by many without restriction) seemed relevant in the closing world of proprietary software (specifically font software) and the next definitions of intellectual property.

I propose that all letterforms are informed by previous work, and that this is a plastic evolutionary process that should not be halted by digital technologies of inaccessibility to source code or auto-exclusion. As a working method, I explore some of the contemporary legality of digital imaging, then font design, creation, and manipulation, and highlight and visually demonstrate interesting loop holes in the legislation surrounding letterform reproduction and reinterpretation. I conclude that visual producers must confront changing economic models induced, as makers of digital landscapes instead of implementing anachronistic legislation to the future.

Central Saint Martins / MA Communication Design 2014
Thanks to Sion Fletcher for his invaluable help in creating this site and several of the outcomes. Jake Dow Smith's Web Typo workshop also was part of the design process of this site.