What is typography? According to the Collins English dictionary typography is an “Art, craft or process of composing type and printing from it” Understood this way digital type escapes this definition and is not included as typography. This art has been practiced since Gutenberg’s invention of movable type.
Gerrit Noordzij says “typography is writing with prefabricated letters”, unlike dictionary definitions this deliberately avoids connecting typography to and specific medium.
Nature of typography- Robert Bringhurst -The elements of typographic style, 1992 says “typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form, and thus with an independent existence” Sending it out into the world as a individual piece. Typography exists to honour content. It needs to respect the material it is outlining. “Well chosen words deserve well chosen letters, these in turn deserve to set with affection, intelligence knowledge and skill”. All pieces of type play a role in understanding of any piece of design. “Typography is to literature as musical performance is to composition, an essential act of interruption, full of endless opportunities for insight or obtuseness”.
Cormac McCarthy- the Road, 2006, the way he writes has no kind of narrative to show who is speaking. He just puts each persons speech on different lines. The narrative doesn’t need to be there we don’t need it when speaking in person.
Bil’ak’s ‘Spirit of community’- design of type. Typefaces are designed to fulfill the needs of their time. The spirit of continuity is crucial, each new creation is an answer to what has come before and each new typeface contains accumulated knowledge. We can extend this thought from type design to whole practice of typography.
Are there right and wrong approaches? There are conflicts in typography. No correct design is found as there are infinite possibilities, you make your own judgment. We find no one solution to a problem.