What was the very first typeface described as “feminine”?

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  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,104
    edited November 2017
    @Ray Larabie Not protecting the misuse of generalization (a natural tool of cognition, that's dangerous because it's powerful) but the fearless consideration of gender. The dangers are real, and manifold. For example you end up with a list of over 250 typefaces designed by women... which inescapably only includes people with a vagina, because you're not allowing yourself to see an expression of gender in the fonts themselves. This is a harmful gender-binary. You cannot eat your cake and have it too.
    If a reviewer says a font is masculine, there's some context. We know who the reviewer is, we can think about it.
    My point is nobody dares say such things any more, because the herd will stampede. The herd runs when frightened. Bobby Martin was dodging the herd.
    I get what you're saying about the two triangles. I think we're all pretty round these days. But some women have narrow shoulders ....
    Actually you only got the physical aspect. Which is not insignificant, but my point is that's superficial. My assigning of the point-up triangle to the Female gender (again, not merely women) also relates to the Female gender providing social stability. 
    Enter some gendered terms into your vendor search tool and see what comes up. You'll see a few results that aren't stereotypical and plenty that are.
    As I implied before, let's fix that. Which is impossible by pretending gender is moot.
    I think the typical gender stereotypes used in typeface ad copy are a turn off for younger customers.
    Isn't ignoring what older customers want age discrimination? And is experience a bad thing? Most of all, is this all only about money?

    You might want to study the results of Mary Catherine Pflug's surveys about font purchasing habits. One finding that was surprising, even to me: women value gender associations in fonts more than men.
  • Most of all, is this all only about money?
    The main purpose of ad copy is to make money. Not all only about making money but mostly, yes. Always be closing.
    Isn't ignoring what older customers want age discrimination?
    I don't think anyone, of any age, would read a typeface's ad copy and notices the lack of mention of gender.

    It's not impossible to have good ad copy that mentions an gender aspect to a typeface. But the way I was using it in my ad copy was crass. Like, if I had curly script or an angular stencil and I needed to pad it, I'd add cliches about girly or manly. Yuck.
  • Ray Larabie said:
    I don't think anyone, of any age, would read a typeface's ad copy and notices the lack of mention of gender.
    I don't find what people don't know they're missing to be a good way forward. But as long as you think there's some place for gender associations in type (like the reviewer scenario) then I'm happy.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,104
    edited November 2017
    @Robin Mientjes No matter which way you slice it, since genitalia is almost entirely binary, if you refuse to see gender in visual language you end up making lists like this
    http://www.victoriarushton.com/fonts-by-women
    which are oppressively gender-binary (if unwittingly so). It's an insult to everybody to pretend one needs to be obviously female to contribute female associations in visible language. The male gender (again, not merely men) learns a great deal about the female gender by coexistig with it (not least within the same individual) and can express things the female gender cannot about itself (and vice versa, of course). Because they are different. Something we should cherish, not fear. Now, such lists are admittedly not fruitless, but remain a mere shadow of what gender means, of how fearless consideration would yield a higher expression of our reality.

    And I'm not nearly as interested in my own æsthetic ideals (not least since they suck on the market, yes, a factor) as I am with respecting and leveraging the manifestations of Nature in visual language.

    Lastly, assumptions are all we have. We do not Know anything.
  • I don’t want to start an argument or get into gender debates and psychology, but if you look at a, let’s say 12 year old’s handwring. And you take a ‘stereotypical’ identified male and female (stereotypical as in what the media has portrayed to be ‘male’ or ‘female’) and get them to draw the alphabet, is it safe to say that ‘females’ interpretations are more delicate? I can remember back to my childhood, I was watched by my teachers because I showed signs of early OCD. And I remember being very jealous of a few girls that simply could draw letters smoother than I could, it drove me nuts, but I could never fix it, most men are lazier handwriters, even if they are artistic, I think as designers we think too much about designers. But what about non designers? Sorry to go off topic, but unless you’re into calligraphy or a designer, naturally I have seen men’s lettering as lazier then females, is this different for other (non western) cultures?
  • just to sprinkle in a interesting note
    i was reading about kana on wikipedia a while back

    "This method of writing was used primarily for poetry or by women, and did not gain recognition as an acceptable way to record historical records or scholarly works."
  • If you think hiragana counts (and it was literally called "women's hand" 女手) then we've got it back to the 10th century.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,104
    edited November 2017
    Dyana Weissman said:
    unless anyone has any further thoughts solely on the first typeface described as "feminine," comments will be collapsed. 
    Uncanny timing.
  • If you think hiragana counts (and it was literally called "women's hand" 女手) then we've got it back to the 10th century.
    yea thats what i was getting at
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