Textual Healing: An Illuminated Look at Tomorrow's Typography

In a series of installations, FIELD look at how type can evolve to meet the demands of the modern landscape.

by Kevin Holmes
Aug 3 2015, 1:15pm


As an art form, typography has a history that dates back millennia. But what of its future? That's the question design and art studio FIELD, in collaboration with typeface library, Monotype, tackle with their recent project, Type Reinvented. The work involves three screen-based interactive installations which ask questions about the role of typography as digital technologies and mediums evolve. "The three digital art installations we created together with Monotype this year start by showcasing type in digital scenarios—it’s really just the start of an exploration," explains FIELD managing director, Vera-Maria Glahn. "By making type dynamic and interactive, audio-visual and narrative, functional and playful, we wanted to amplify the subtle but strong information that type design carries 'between the lines'—style, values, emotion, identity."

The three different pieces have appeared at various festivals and events in three different countries, and FIELD adapts each one to fit within. The first, Sensual Energy, explores type design's role in fashion and the world of luxury. It's a motion-controlled audiovisual piece that looks at some of the most popular typefaces associated with the fashion industry and the ingenuities behind their elegance. It appeared last month at Le Book in Paris. 

Sensual Energy

Glyph.Index, the second piece, was presented at Resonate in Belgrade. Because of the festival's international feel, where artists and technologists from across the globe come to meet and chat and explore ideas, Glahn says they wanted something that would showcase "the capability of modern fonts to span across all languages and scripts, and all sorts of digital screens." The resulting artwork allows viewers to journey through an infinite amount of Unicode glyphs in Noto Sans, which is the only typeface designed to represent every symbol in every language. 

The third installation, Glahn explains, explores "space, material and light, surfaces and textures." Called Responsive Energy, it was presented at Cannes Lions and uses generative processes to show bold letters melting and reforming to create stunning abstract compositions.

Responsive Energy

"We live in a world that is increasingly information-dense—and technology and artificial intelligence is helping to filter and process all this data," notes Glahn. "Now design needs to step up and use the full potential of smart technology to make information more accessible and intuitive. Typography is playing a key part in this. We need type that can not only adapt to all our different platforms and screens, but adapt to its context and the content it conveys. All the data is there—we just can’t express it yet in text-based interfaces."

Check out images and videos from Type Reinvented below:

Type Reinvented: Sensual Power from Monotype on Vimeo.

Sensual Energy


Responsive Energy 


Click here to learn more about Type Reinvented.


The History of Digital Typography Gets Its Own Documentary

8 Contemporary Designers Redefining Typography

Signs of the Times: A Graphic Designer Is Preserving Urban Typography

graphic design
text art
Le Book
Type Reinvented