From Hot Metal to HTML: The Story of Typography

Arial, Times New Roman, Consolas, Comic Sans… digital typography has turned us all into typesetters. The tools we use, the apps we build, the emails we send: with so much of our lives mediated by technology, something as seemingly innocuous as picking a typeface can end up defining our relationship with the systems we use, and become part of the identity that we project into the world. Typography is a fundamental part of modern information design, with implications for user experience, accessibility, even performance - and when it goes wrong, it can produce some of the most baffling bugs you’ve ever seen.

Join Dylan Beattie for a journey into the weird and wonderful history of digital typography, from the origins of movable type in 8th century Asia, to the world of e-ink displays and web typography. We’ll look at the relationship between technology and typography over the centuries: the Gutenberg Press, Linotype machines, WYSIWYG and the desktop publishing revolution. What was so special about the Apple II? How do you design a pixel font? We’ll learn why they’re called upper and lower case, we’ll talk about why so many developers find CSS counter-intuitive - and we’ll find out why so many emails used to end with the letter J.

Other talks by Dylan Beattie