Type of Tomorrow

I’m often asked, “Sean, what’s the future of design?” Fortunately, I know. I specifically know the future of screen-based design. I’ve seen it on television. There are several options.

If you prefer a future that is run-down and multi-cultural, Blade Runner shows us how to mix corporate identity and Japanese Kanji. LA Eyeworks is still in business, and the Los Angeles Police Department has hired a designer with a retro-digital outlook. For those preferring a modernist future, 2001: A Space Odyssey articulates a future with a nice and consistent on-screen typographic palette. Courier and OCRA are still all the rage. Many screens are now vertical to better see tall people.

Modernism still dominates in the 24th century on Star Trek, The Next Generation. Akzidenz Grotesk Medium Condensed has been determined as the only acceptable typeface, and tablet shapes are de rigueur. Screen based typography on the latest Star Trek movie has the problem of over-using Microgramma. However, any use of Microgramma is over-usage. In this future, we are obviously able to digest enormous amounts of information on screen with tiny type. Luckily, everyone seems to be under 30 and tech-savvy.

This is what I now know: if you are a designer in the future, you may be asked to use Microgramma or fill the screen with trivial information. Just say no.