For up-to-date info & links please go here, this site not maintained anymore

Typo Berlin 2015

I enjoyed speaking about typefaces with reversed contrast at the Typo Berlin conference this year. Just van Rossum wrote a nice report about my talk on the conference blog: Reversed contrast: Turning wrong into right

What is it with reversing the well-established rules of contrast in Latin letterforms? Why do type designers set out to purposely break them – and why so rarely? Is this just an immature provocation, a silly trend, a fixed idea that will result in not-so-useful experiments – or might there be something useful to be found in this neglected quadrant of design space? Is, perhaps, the way we usually handle contrast too restrictive?
I looked at where these ideas come from, and how they’ve been received; at what has been done before, and what hasn’t so much; at models (what exactly do we mean by reversed?) and mechanics (how can this work in the texture of text?); and a little at my own process of designing a text face with reversed contrast, and the questions that has prompted.