I was looking at the rules and the first one is:
Post topics appropriate for TypeDrawers, and post them in the appropriate category. Dialogue should remain about typeface design, lettering, and subjects that affect the community as a whole. If the topic you wish to discuss doesn’t fit in any of those categories, it’s because there are better venues for subjects like typography advice, typeface identification
, and graphic design feedback.
For me personally, I don't know of any forums that are dedicated to using type, and I've learnt a lot about type usage from Typophile and Type Drawers. Equally, back in the early 00's when I join Typophile the Type ID forum was the major draw, I found it useful and also the place I wanted to spend most of my time.
So my question is, if there was a dedicated section for using type, would that be so bad? Maybe if those posts did not appear in the global feed (in case it was popular)?
I can see how the laser focus of the forum is a blessing, and I support that, I just don't know the 'better venues' for talking about using type in detail (and maybe the fix is a listing to places people do know about).
There’s always been a gulf between the people who use type and the people that make it. If Type Drawers were a place to discuss all aspects of type, from its creation to its use, it seems like that would be a useful service to the design community. A place where graphic designers could interact and learn from type designers and vice versa.
Signposting to TypeID services (e.g. whatthefont) should help. I love the idea of encouraging more interaction between type and typography, and I was struck last year by the D&AD advising that typography is not valued as it should be. This, I feel, must also impact how designers select, license and use fonts?
That being said, I know there's been a discussion elsewhere on here about redesigning the structure of the homepage anyways—one of them being showing individual topic categories first like a traditional forum.
I think if we go with that restructuring I think it would be fair game to add these topics as well as other ones because it wouldn't really overlap if people just gravitate towards the topics that they want to see.
Not only that, it'd be a chance to learn from each other. Type designers and people who use type don't always see eye to eye—it feels like two different worlds but I don't think it has to be that way and I think it would be a great opportunity for many people to step outside their bubble.
Like, I get it...I can see what could go wrong, but I can also see what could go right?
These days, I refer a lot to UX design blogs to resolve typographic issues for digital products. Yet, there are a lot of solutions that use type badly (and are easy to improve).
A couple of immediate questions spring to mind:
(1) Which typographic conversations help the type business/community? With better understanding of typographic needs, both users and makers can be encouraged to explore type solutions that better fulfil those needs.
(2) Would typographic categories/tags be helpful to find content?
It seems to me that there is, already, a forum for some of what’s been suggested: Fontsinuse. Fonstinuse is not, however, a dialogue; you have to look and draw your own conclusions. Something else it doesn’t do, at least not consistently, is disambiguate the sources of the fonts. So, for example, you cannot be sure whose Futura or Baskerville you are seeing—and that’s a real problem, at least in the showings of contemporary work. It would be great if the moderators of the board insisted on that level of font identification, wherever it’s practicable. Nevertheless, Fonstinuse is a great source of information and typographic design.
What Eric describes is a very sad state of affairs. If type design is not at the service of typography, then what use is it? This is, in my opinion, a fundamental flaw of this forum. Yet, many of the important issues discussed here—the technical ones—are outside the considerations of most practical typographers. Like Chris Lozos, I operate in both worlds, but we are in a very small minority among the denizens of this board. Perhaps the one place where we all meet is in the area of type history. Speaking of history, it should be remembered that until about thirty-five years ago, there was no real possibility for such a thing as type design for its own sake. (Please don’t cite for me exceptions; any you can name are negligible in the greater scheme of things.)