Stephen Bernhardt warned almost thirty years ago that our “preoccupation with conventional essay format” excludes the rhetorical rigor of typographic elements. John Trimbur extended this argument, noting that “one of the main obstacles to seeing the materiality of writing has been the essayist tradition and its notion of a transparent text.” Visual rhetoric scholars have interrogated the ways in which meaning-making happens iconographically, photographically, and via other visual means. Type Matters now focuses on the visual, rhetorical work of typography.
Type Matters bridges the scholarship of typography and design with the field of rhetoric. Contributors address the ways in which and places where typography enacts or reveals rhetorical principles. The collection includes chapters that situate texts broadly; frame their discussions and analyses rhetorically, technologically, and culturally; draw from scholarship ranging from rhetoric and writing studies to graphic design theory and beyond; and explore the ways that the visual and tactile shapes of letters persuade and convey information to readers.
“Typographic rhetorics, typeface meaning studies, semiotics of typography, histories of print capitalism—the approaches to writing gathered in this groundbreaking collection show how understanding texts can never be just a matter of words alone. Instead, as co-editors Christopher Scott Wyatt and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss make clear, it is time to recognize that type matters: type signifies, it has personality, it makes things happen. From the intersection of writing studies, visual rhetoric, and graphic design, the contributors to this volume explore how the rhetoricity of typography works and, as a result, deepen our knowledge of the materiality of writing, its styles of inscription, and its worldly force.” —John Trimbur, Emerson College
The text is presented in full color on white, 70# paper.