Call for papers: Visible Language, 50th Anniversary Edition

Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 764
edited February 2016 in History of Typography

Looks like a nice opportunity to write about type...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kevin Larson <kevlar * microsoft punto com>
Date: 10 February 2016 at 16:58
Subject: Re: [ATypI] publication
To: ATypI member discussion list 


Chuck Bigelow and I are guest editing a 50th anniversary issue of the journal Visible Language, which began in 1967 as the Journal for Typographic Research. This special issue is returning to the journal's roots by reflecting on advances in typography over the past 50 years. We have been busy recruiting articles  from many experts worldwide on typography, type design, reading research, typographic history, and type technology. If you would like to propose an article on one of these or related subjects, we are very interested in hearing from you.

In addition to articles about typographic advances, we are also planning short remembrances (500 words or less) of influential typographers, now deceased, who were editors, advisers or authors in the first years of the journal. So far we have remembrances for Hermann Zapf, Fernand Baudin, G. W. Ovink, and Adrian Frutiger, and more are coming in. We are hoping for people to write remembrances/brief biographies of Bror Zachrisson, Nicolete Gray, Jean Larcher, Walter Tracy, A.S. Osley, Pieter Brattinga, Philippe Schuwer, and others. If you would like to contribute a brief bio, please let us know.

As this issue will serve also as a reference work, we would like to include a list of the 50 most important books published in the past 50 years about the artistic, scholarly, historical, technical or other salient aspects of writing, reading, typography, graffiti, and related subjects,including books about outstanding practitioners of typography, type design, calligraphy, and lettering. For example: Harry Carter's "A View of Early Typography", Emil Ruder's "Typographie", Edward Catich's "Origin of the Serif".

If you wish to nominate a book, which could include collections of essays, please send us the bibliographic information and a few sentences about why it is important.

Further, we would like to include brief mentions of outstanding archival collections of typographic materials and books about typography, such as the Plantin-Moretus Museum, the St Bride Foundation, the Lyon Musée de l'imprimerie, and the Gutenber Museum in Mainz, to name a few. We would welcome suggestions of others.

Our due date for manuscripts and suggestions is April 15, 2016.

Sincerely, Chuck and Kevin

Chuck Bigelow <chuck.bigelow * gmail punto com>, Kevin Larson <kevlar * microsoft punto com>

Comments

  • um …
  • Still brings back fond memories of my design education.

  • joeclarkjoeclark Posts: 101
    I would be very interested to learn what demands Visible Language places on authors regarding copyright. I refused to submit an article back in the day because Poggenpohl (as she invariably called herself) insisted they needed all rights. They did not.

    I don’t see any advantage to handing over your work to somebody else just because of name recognition or the value ostensibly added by all the other articles in the same issue.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,400
    edited February 2016
    I don’t see any advantage to handing over your work to somebody else just because of name recognition or the value ostensibly added by all the other articles in the same issue.

    You misunderstand the point of publishing in academic journals. At many universities career advancement is directly tied to publishing in journals. For some adjuncts there is no hope of becoming a full-time professor without publishing. Professors who want to get on track to tenure must publish. Tenure track professors must publish more to get tenure. Tenured professors must keep publishing to be taken seriously in academia. Name recognition is irrelevant—there are literally thousands of obscure, online-only journals that don’t even review the supposedly peer-reviewed papers they publish. 

  • Indra KupferschmidIndra Kupferschmid Posts: 246
    edited February 2016
    (I know but) this is crazy!
  • joeclarkjoeclark Posts: 101
    edited February 2016
    OK, but it was always a stretch to classify Visible Language as an academic journal after the manner of, say, The Lancet. It does not hold that position now, especially since all its archives are now online.

    Further, nothing says that an academic publication has to scurry off with all authorial rights. In fact this has been a scourge of academic publishing for generations; I direct your attention to PLoS and similar open-access journals created in direct response to academic-publishing cartels.

    And finally, no, a magazine may not have all rights, thanks. Fellow freelance writers in Canada spent 16 years waging a war against Thomson et al. on this precise subject.
  • joeclark said:
    OK, but it was always a stretch to classify Visible Language as an academic journal after the manner of, say, The Lancet. It does not hold that position now, especially since all its archives are now online.
    I don't follow why online accessibility would compromise the journal's academic status. It's whether a journal is peer-refereed that primarily determines if a publication is seen as scholarly. Though on that score I'm still not sure about Visible Language: Ulrich's Periodicals Directory does not list it as refereed, but Serials Directory does. 

    Totally agree with what you said about author rights and cartel exploitation. 
  • Thank you everyone for all your suggestions for creating a list of the 50 most important books in our field over the last 50 years for the special issue of Visible Language. Our list is now up to nearly 200 books. Please let us know if you see anything missing.

    After we catch any books that we've missed, our plan is to run an online poll where all of you can select the 10 books that are most important to you. I hope you will participate.

    Cheers, Chuck & Kevin

  • Thank you for all your help in generating the list of book on typography from the last 50 years. After our last call for help, the list jumped from 197 books up to 317 books. Surely this is not all the interesting books from the last 50 years, and we’ve likely missed more non-English books, but we think we’ve made a strong list.

    Now is the time for voting for the top books to appear in the special issue of Visible Language on the last 50 years of typography! Everyone in the type community is invited to vote for their personal top 10, which we will use to generate the top 50. We’re intentionally not defining what we mean by “top”. Everyone is welcome to come up with their own personal definition for creating their own list. This is intended to be entertaining, not authoritative. Though we would like to avoid any Boaty McBoatyface problems, and ask that people only vote once. We are asking for people’s names and email addresses on the voting page and will check with the voters to make sure they are real if anything looks suspicious. Names and email won’t be used for any other purpose.

    To vote, go to the below link and select your top 10. Unfortunately I wasn’t clever enough to get the page to count how many books you selected. When you submit your voting, you’ll be told if you selected more than 10. Sorry I couldn’t do better.

    https://microsoft.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_blblv4EYNaboPnn

    Cheers, Chuck & Kevin

  • Great list, so curious what will come out! There are some glitches, but surely the selected entries will still be proofread? (eg, second author name on Ahrens should be Mugikura; title of “Haagse Letters” should continue “Letterontwerpen”)
  • Questions: What is a popularity contest doing in a peer-reviewed journal? Isn't it the point of peer review to avoid that sort of thing?

    Your list isn't as strong as you think. If you take a look at the bibliographies of even a few of the better-researched books on your list, you'll find that you've only scratched the surface. Starting with the letter A, where is Otl Aicher's Typographie? And why only books and not important journal articles?

  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,400
    Questions: What is a popularity contest doing in a peer-reviewed journal? Isn't it the point of peer review to avoid that sort of thing?

    Scott is on point. I know you’re just trying to be entertaining with this list, but one can read thousands of entertaining listicles for free on the internet. When I read academic journals it’s because I’m looking for something more enlightening than entertaining. And I could probably get nine of the top ten winners just by looking at Amazon sales rankings, so I don’t even need to see this article in print. I already know that Lupton’s Thinking With Type and Spiekermann’s Stop Stealing Sheep will be in the top ten, and probably the top two. Hische’s In Progress… will likely appear in the top ten simply because Jessica is so popular, but that book hasn’t been around long enough to be important yet. To really find the important books ask the authors of the top ten to write a brief essay about the books that influenced them and their writing.
  • Kevin LarsonKevin Larson Posts: 3
    edited May 2016

    Hi Nina,

    This issue of Visible Language is scheduled for autumn this year. We’re very excited about all the submissions we’ve received and the articles are currently going through reviews and revisions. There’s a lot of work to do for what I hope will be a special issue. Thanks for the reference correction.

    Hi Scott & James,

    Visible Language is primarily composed of peer-reviewed academic articles, and this issue will be no different. But Visible Language has long contained other supplemental articles that readers find interesting, most notably book reviews. I hope that readers will enjoy our supplemental features of a top book list, remembrances for journal founders, and descriptions of type collections. None of these features will be perfect, but we will try our best.

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