From Eye On Design
, here’s an article that will likely
catch your attention a bit more than it did when it was written in 2019. It tells an important story about typography and the colour of our skins — and how the world of typography also has room for growth in terms of diversity.
Letterforms are loaded cultural objects—they often reflect the people who made them and the story they want to tell. In the history of type, not every story gets told, though, and Tré Seals
wants to change that.
Seals started a type foundry called Vocal Type
with the aim of creating typefaces that reflect a more diverse perspective. In his words:
“This is a type foundry for creatives of color who feel they don’t have a say in their industry. This is for the creative women who feel they don’t have a say in their industry. This is for the creative who is tired of being ‘inspired’ by the same creations from different people and wondering why.”
Vocal Type, one of the very few foundries founded by a black designer, founded has already published a fair number of great typefaces since 2016 (6 as of today), and they all possess or have been inspired by strong cultural significance.
From Trés himself:
And when I discovered that only 3–3.5% of all practicing designers in America are Black, and ±85% White (depending on the source), a lot of things started making sense. And I understood why everything looked the same.
This matters because “when a singular perspective dominates an industry, regardless of any advancements in technology, there can (and has been) only one way thinking, teaching, and creating. This lack of diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender, has led to a lack of diversity in thought, systems (like education), ideas, and, most importantly, creations.”