Type Follows Identity is the title of Paul Eslage’s Master’s thesis, which deals with the individualisation of type design. This thesis was written in the Communication Design program at the Department of Design at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.
Blurb translated from German:
The democratisation of type design leads to a changed approach to typography: The demand for neutrality gives way to the demand for uniqueness and typefaces are used and designed in a more individual way. As a result, typefaces increasingly represent their designers and become independent positionings in the design context. It is less and less about communicating neutrally with a typeface, but rather about identifying with type. Letters are characters, faces and bodies, they convey meaning and feeling. Typography makes visible and tangible what is lost in the transition from spoken to written. Type Follows Identity juxtaposes attitudes to type and searches for analogies between the individualisation of society and developments in type design.
Type Follows Identity uses the Diatype and Diatype Mono typefaces from Dinamo. While the theoretical part of the thesis is set in Diatype, the practical part with its descriptions of typographic experimental arrangements (black pages) is set in Diatype Mono. The title, chapter separators and headings also use a mixture of Diatype and handwritten letters by the designer.
The final chapter of the thesis presents the design and development process of the sound-reactive variable typeface Phono by Paul Eslage. In this part, Phono is used to show an analogy between the sound of speech and the face of type.