Text Invader

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  • Workshop Statement

    In 1996, Adobe collaborated with Microsoft on developing a format for scalable computer fonts. This new format, named OpenType, was intended to expand the use of typographic behaviors as well as to provide a platform where all the world’s writing systems could be managed in a single font file. It is a cross-platform format which is recognized both in MAC OSX and Windows operating systems. OpenType fonts allow around a hundred specifications for typographic behavior. This provides the typesetter with the choice to apply various glyph substitutions in order to enrich the content like, small caps, ligatures, text figures, scientific numerals, and alternative glyphs, which are just five specification features out of the many available variables. These OpenType features are programmed in Fontlab where much of the type-design work takes place. The workshop intends to use Fontlab’s OpenType panel as a creative medium to generate typefaces that modify the intended use of common typographic behaviors. It aims to experiment with the possibilities that are provided by the OpenType format to create the unexpected rather than the established conventions of typesetting. In other words, to interfere with the conventions that serve for linguistic flow. As the name suggests, Text Invader aims to generate fonts that can attack and infect the ‘content’ in search for a pattern that may alter the context ironically or metaphorically. We will implant the Text-Invader ‘virus’ as various visuals: graphic images, letters, and abstract forms, which will be generated as an OpenType font format. Virus images will not be used arbitrarily to alter the look of the content. It will rather substitute the images with certain repetitive letters, words and even lines of text in search for creating a meta-text: Text in which the author’s intentions have been intermediated by the typesetter. This will further open a discourse and discussion about the author’s and designer’s roles in typesetting.