On the Letterform of the Age by Bo-Won Keum!

Who gets to set the standards for communication, and why? Bo-Won Keum, Triple Canopy’s associate designer, addresses this question in “On the Letterform of the Age,” an essay on the role of the designer in shaping how people make meaning out of language. In considering the current state of design, Keum revisits the work of Bauhaus designers who advocated for the transformation of typography in response to the rise of the typewriter and printing press, as well as dramatic changes in the habits of readers. “The efforts by Bauhaus masters to update and standardize type for the machine age prefigured current discussions about the form and function of design in the digital age,” Keum writes, “and the need for typography to adapt to various surfaces, formats, and operating systems.”