Masks on Hire: In Search of Typographic Histories


  • Gérard Mermoz


In the wake of recent polemics around the "new" typography, and in an attempt to avert the epistemological limitations of typographic histories informed by technological determinisms and ideological dogmas (neoclassicist or neomodernist), this paper argues that, given the functional relation between typography and language, histories of typography must be informed by those disciplines which bear upon language and its manifestations, namely: linguistics, semiotics, literary theory, art history, bibliography, philosophy, etc. Failing this, chronicles of "natural," untheorized objects will continue to assume the role and claim the status of history-writing.