Typography as a Form of Cultural Representation

By Hakan Ertep.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Typography is one of the main means of expression in graphic design. Although at times we may often be unaware of it, typography is an artistic rendition of the visuals expressed with writing, thus it is a crucial part of our lives as it redounds and also manipulates the meaning of the message conveyed. Many of the visuals we encounter daily, even when they are realized unconsciously, encompass designed typeface/fonts, in other words: typography. Today, typography is not only used in graphic design, but is also a striking and undeniable force in the way we express ourselves. In or modern world, typography concerns all design disciplines and is a tool for boosting expressiveness within these fields. On the other hand, it should be questioned if the general public understands and implements typography appropriately.
If it is agreed that typography is not just a means of expression for the elite, but also a tool that should be used to appeal to the general population, then the consequences of the fact that typography is often implemented by individuals or corporations which lack graphic design training, is of great concern.
This study aims to analyze the position of typography in our societies, not only as a basic written element but also as a visual means of representation. The study further intends to discuss how this cultural means of expression is perceived and also realized by the general public in Turkey. For this purpose this article will question the fundamental typographic problems in Turkey through the relation of typography with the culture underlining the lack of tradition and deficient level of education. While doing that the article will try to answer some of the questions above and will ask more questions in order to open paths to future investigations.

Keywords: Typography, Typographic Design, Graphic Design, Typography and Culture, Modernism

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.45-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.062MB).

Assoc. Prof. Hakan Ertep

Head of Department, Department of Visual Communication Design, Izmir University of Economics, Izmir, Turkey

Hakan Ertep is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design. He studied graphic design at Kent State University, (BFA), and Michigan State University (MA), USA. Later, he completed his Ph.D at Bilkent University, Turkey in Graphic Design/Media Studies. He worked as an art director and graphic designer at advertising agencies in Istanbul and Izmir, Turkey. He has taught classes in Graphic Design, Typography, Advertising Design, Portfolio Design, Signage Systems, Lettering, and the History of Graphic Design at undergraduate and graduate level at prominent Turkish design schools such as Anadolu, Bilkent University, and Middle East Technical University. Dr. Ertep has written a vast number of articles on graphic design, which have been delivered in national and international conferences and published in journals. He also served as an editorial board member of the Turkish Graphic Design Journal. He holds a special interest in photography, which has lead him to enter and open photography exhibitions. Mr. Ertep runs the Department of Visual Communication Design at Izmir University of Economics in Izmir, Turkey.

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