Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Giorgio: the ephemeral

As I mentioned before, the goal of every designer is to be remembered for long time, and with luck becomes a classic. We can find this pattern on every design field except one, something interesting happens in "the fashion field ".

Design serves a propouse, makes our life simpler, and it’s utilitarian; we can easily get what a company do just by watching his web site, we have a better grip of our cooking utensils from IKEA, we love the simplicity of our iPhones and we love the comfort of our couch.

In fashion, all other design disciplines join forces for just one thing: To make unique the current season or trend. Advertising, Photography, Multimedia, Web, Print, Marketing, all the world-class creatives together for just one season; it’s really a great phenomenon to view this kind of design, but the less evident and most important is how typography serves the fashion industry and how typefaces born from it.

On August 2004, the New York Times launched T: The New York Times Style Magazine, which is dedicated to fashion, design and living coverage; and in 2006 the art director Chris Martinez decided to get a new headline typeface for the magazine. So this huge enterprise was commissioned to Christian Schwartz –which I think is the new prodigy on type design– with the mission of: capture the current moment in fashion, embody intricate tailoring, slender silhouettes, minimalistic, 1930s look, high contrast and strange with pretty eccentric details, in other words, a perfect job. Finally it will to serves the magazine for just one year, then phase it out.

In contrast of any other kind of design, create something for using just it just a season sounds like designing against the designs nature… but no; it’s just the most strange design we can enjoy, it’s quick, beautiful, fleeting, ephemeral.
The result was Giorgio, a skinny, tall and sharp typeface with high contrast that looks terrific on black and white photos.

What is funny is that this typeface was designed for the intention to be used for just one year it’s still used.

If you want to know more about the making of this typeface, I totally recommend to watch this Schwartz’s lecture. Also it will help you to realize how typography influences the personality of a magazine and your life. Cheers / Santiago Orozco