There’s a lot of things I love about design but if you start talking history with me I’ll probably melt into a euphoric puddle on the floor. I don’t know why it is. I just love the history of graphic design.
It’s probably rooted for my love for history in general. Set me up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a beer in front of a TV playing the history channel all day? Bliss.
I would love to give you some sort of philosophical reason why I love this subject (something along the lines of the past being a window to our future, blah blah blah) but honestly, I can’t pin it down. There’s nothing like a good Wikipedia rabbit hole into some in depth topic of *~* HiStOrY *~* (Ooooo! ahhh!)
Anyways, the design history part of me “fan girled” hard this Monday when Martha Scotford visited our Type IV class. Martha was a Professor Emeritus at NCSU, who retired in 2013. Her research is in design history with an emphasis on women in design and feminist theory.
–Side note. If there’s one thing I love more than history its all things girl power and feminism–
Needless to say, I was hanging on every word she said. Mostly she shared with us some of her favorite books and type artifacts from her personal collection. We examined a variety of pieces, appreciating their avant garde use of type.
The way Martha speaks about type is inspiring. She has a deep appreciation and love for her craft and an even deeper understanding for it.
As designers our practice is inherently making. For some reason that’s never sat easily with me. I have no problem with making, of course. But, it doesn’t excite me the same way understanding does. Success for me has always been defined by how deep your understanding for whatever it is you are pursuing. And if your end goal is to make, the deeper your understanding the more successful you will be.
So, I guess I do have some philosophical reason as to why I love history.
Here’s some pictures of books from Martha’s Collection!