- Typography does not begin and end with choosing a typeface. That is fashion. Typography is how letterforms are *used*. #graphicdesign 8 months ago
I was honored to receive tenure this year from the University of Bridgeport. This is the second time I have been so honored by a fine school of design. I am poud and very pleased to become a solid part of the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at UB.
I received tenure in 1991 at the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art School (medal designed by the wonderful sculptor Lloyd Glasson). Life interrupted the continuity of my residence at that fine school in 2000. I anticipate going for a third tenure decision in another 25 years, which will be 2041.
Listening to Type: Making Language Visible is a second edition of Thinking in Type: The Practical Philosophy of Typography, my 2005 book on typography. The title was changed to avoid confusion with another book with a closely similar title. A little background: it takes me 12-18 months to write a book and the title is determined fairly early on. After Thinking in Type’s first printing in 2005 – after it had been printed and about two weeks before it was released – we learned that the wonderful Ellen Lupton was about to publish a book with an unbelievably similar title: Thinking With Type. At that point there was nothing we could do. Her book came out a few weeks after mine. With the second edition of my book, we took the decision to change the title while making a significant expansion of the contents.
Blurbs on the back of Listening to Type read:
“My colleague, Alex W. White, has done it again. Even if you’ve read other books by Alex, particularly his Elements of Graphic Design, Listening to Type is a revelation. This book represents his clearest and most perceptive explanation of the building blocks of effective graphic design: space, image and, above all, type.” Brian D. Miller, Partner, Executive Creative Director, MillerSmith; author of Above the Fold, 2nd ed
“Maybe Alex White should be called the type whisperer. Examples of outstanding work are abundant throughout this volume. Typography, space, image, and color are the building blocks of graphic design and are beautifully represented. Splendidly arranged and easy to understand, this book is indispensible whether you are a relative novice or seasoned professional.” Graham Clifford, Independent Design Director and Chairman of the Type Directors Club
“My library has hundreds of books about typography and graphic design. Each provides a vantage point for seeing design differently. This is the first that challenges the reader to listen to the visuals. Strange though that concept may be, there’s deep truth there, and a plethora of beauty to hear.” Charles Nix, Senior Type Designer, Monotype; Chairman Emeritus, Type Directors Club; Former Chairman of Communication Design at Parsons the New School for Design
A new updated softcover edition of Advertising Design & Typography was published in July 2015. This is the addition to the Preface:
“Since writing the first edition of this book in 2007, I have developed a wider evaluation of the role of design in business. This is a result of having served as the chairman of a graduate program in Design Management. I lead one of a dozen graduate programs in the country that share a common goal: to help designers – advertising designers, graphic designers, industrial designers, architectural designers, and all other flavors of designers – learn how to apply their onboard design talents to business problems. This is a relatively new field of practice, but the fundamentals are that design thinking, a specific way of solving problems that in essence leaves no stone unturned, is applied to business problems in order to develop innovative solutions. This is accomplished by researching and applying inspiring and successful examples from outside the specific area being worked on. Design management proposals are judged on three criteria: economic viability, social and cultural contribution, and sustainability (which primarily addresses ecological sustainability, but also considers economic, political, and cultural sustainabilities).”
“In today’s business environment, advertising designers must consider new aspects of increasing sales for their clients because their audience expects it. Design management is the best way I know to approach deeper thinking. I have been teaching design for the user’s benefit since 1983. It wasn’t called design thinking then, but I have always promoted an exploration of the most potent expression of an idea. This book is filled with examples of the most potent expression of ideas. Blandness can’t possibly sell because it can’t be seen. An ad must be seen to produce a reaction, which is an ad’s truest task: to make the viewer do something.”
A completely organic surprise: I didn’t promote this in the slightest. What a lovely thing to be told. Thank you to everyone who endorsed me.
I have joined the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design (SASD) at the University of Bridgeport as the Chairman of the MPS program in Design Management. Besides encouraging insightful work from an international group of smart, talented, highly-motivated graduate students, I get to enjoy this beautiful view from the seventh floor of a magnificent facility directly on Long Island Sound.