‘The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club.’ Within a few months that single sentence of dialogue from David Fincher’s 1999 film Fight Club was catapulted (via Brad Pitt) into both popular culture and ubiquitous quotation. I have often thought that talking about typography is just like that. The easiest way to discuss typographic matters ‘outside the club’ is not to talk about it at all. Instead, we use that most useful of literary devices that can describe anything except itself—the metaphor. See, I just did it in that opening paragraph. So, following that happy spirit of metaphor, my summary of typography in 2022 will be discussed through life in 2022—looking at some of the bigger social and cultural undercurrents that ran through the past twelve months and how those popular interests and concerns have been reflected in letterforms. Let’s start right at the very beginning—New Year’s Day 2022. For typographers this was a happy occasion. We’re always glad to see the end of a year that has a ‘1’ in it, because of the incessant kerning to correct its overly wide spatial position in any date. So that was an easy win on the first day.
During the recent pandemic years a lot of people developed an individual engagement with typography, either by choice or by circumstance. What had previously been discussed in office conversations, chats in the elevators or in the street over a take-away coffee, suddenly had to be replaced speedily by its digital (and therefore typographic) equivalent. Fearing ambiguity in their communications, we saw the uptake of emojis and expressive punctuation as a way of clarifying emotional states.
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