Herb Lubalin Lecture: Writing systems, archeology and type design

Date: 15 July 2024
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: Online
Third-party event

There are more than 293 writing systems in the world. All have evolved organically over time or transformed to different geographical preferences, revealing a compelling narrative of human history. Each of these writing systems is a unique testimony to the richness of cultural and writing history and poses a multifaceted challenge when it comes to accessing, displaying, or transcribing them in our digital age.

Currently, only half of the world’s writing systems are encoded in Unicode, underscoring the complexity of the task at hand. In addition, existing typesetting tools need to be optimised to ensure precision in graphical morphology, improve source traceability and facilitate indexing capabilities for effective textual research. Addressing these challenges is essential to meet the demands of historical fields and requires further research and more diversity in typefaces.

This presentation will attempt to show how the study of these as yet unencoded or disadvantaged writing systems highlights the crucial role of the design and digitisation process in preserving cultures and disseminating knowledge, particularly in a scholarly context.