15/23 Barry Deck: Template Gothic 1990

Template Gothic_kTemplate Gothic Regular lower case “k”, diameter 21.5 cm.

The story of Template Gothic tells how Barry Deck saw a stencilled sign in his local laundromat and was thrilled with it. He suggests that it is a “homage to the vernacular.” (Eye 6/92, p. 64)

According to Ellen Lupton, Template Gothic refers to a process that is at the same time mechanical and manual. Rick Poynor describes Template Gothic as a

playful reminder (and revision) of the future as it was imagined in the 1950’s – an organic age of kidney dish-shaped tables from which the straight line and the right angle have been expelled.

Template Gothic was released commercially by Emigre Fonts, and its use spread worldwide, making it an emblem of “digital typography” for the 1990’s. Poynor continues:

  “There is no way of knowing how it will look in five years’ time.”

That means 1995.

It is 2013 now and Template Gothic is  23 years old. I would say that it looks like a deeply post-modern font from 1990’s. Template Gothic has been quite widely used and thus carries a slightly “commercial” vibe. Its shape and form has not been a “shock of the new” for a long time. People are used to organic shapes in fonts. From a 2013 angle it is also maybe a bit more difficult to see the connection to the 1950’s. We interpret both typefaces and our history again and again from the time and space we are now living in.

Template Gothic_EXAMP

http://www.emigre.com/EF.php?fid=125
http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?object_id=139319
Rick Poynor, American Gothic, Eye 6/92
Ellen Lupton, Thinking with type, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2004.

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