Eleni Beveratou talks the future of type design
“For those involved in the creation of new media and platforms, it’s imperative to gain an understanding of how users engage with written communication and the critical factors that influence readability.”
Eleni Beveratou is a typeface designer and Creative Director at Daalton Maag. In advance of her keynote at DesignThinkers Toronto, we asked her a few questions about working in type design and how typography is evolving in our digital landscape.
Type is not only a fundamental aspect of graphic design, but also of written communication in general. What do you love most about working in this area of communication design?
It’s hard to choose, but my absolute favourite aspect is creating typefaces that span more than one writing system. Perhaps this is due to my Greek background, where I often see exceptional brand identities in the Latin writing system, particularly in English, which default to aesthetically poor or standard fonts when translated to other writing systems. When that happens, the impact of a brand weakens, which is disheartening. Therefore, when given the opportunity to create a typeface that transcends linguistic boundaries and resonates on a global scale, I feel that we contribute towards a more inclusive world.
Could you tell us about a typography trend or new application you’ve observed lately that has you particularly excited?
Type design currently finds itself at a crucial juncture, thanks to rapid advancements over the last five years or so. One development that particularly stands out to me is having typefaces that can seamlessly adapt to the light and dark modes in digital environments.
Nowadays, while users can choose to view the same content in light or dark mode, the way that typefaces interact with these backgrounds often gets overlooked. Black text on a white background will appear lighter than the same typeface at the same weight when displayed white on black. Our library typeface, Darkmode, tackles this very common UI issue, highlighting the critical role of type in the way that we consume content.
Digital platforms are changing the way we interact with content. How do you see the role of typography evolving in this landscape?
During this change, it’s crucial that we don’t repeat any mistakes of the past. The transition from print to digital environments led to many well-established typographic rules being overlooked, resulting in poor on-screen readability. This was largely because of a lack of research into reading habits and the craft of typography in print.
For those involved in the creation of new media and platforms, it’s imperative to gain an understanding of how users engage with written communication and the critical factors that influence readability. We must decide which reading habits of the past will be adapted, omitted, or replicated, and act accordingly with solutions like Darkmode that I mentioned above.
That said, your DesignThinkers talk is titled, “Typography in Digital Environments and Future Technologies.” Without giving too much away, what can attendees expect from your session?
Attendees can expect to hear me complain about how a bad typographic choice led to me missing a flight… All jokes aside, we will explore the world of typography and look at how it will manifest across future technologies, accessibility, and global reach. While we often focus solely on the visual aspects of typography, there is so much more to consider for effective, inclusive, and emotionally resonant communication for brands of all sizes.
What are you most looking forward to about coming to DesignThinkers in Toronto?
Toronto holds a special place in my heart as one of the first cities I visited in my current role. Even doing my research before arriving, I was struck by the city’s robust design community, showcased by an amazing comprehensive directory of all the design-related studios and individuals. I have yet to encounter such a thorough resource for any other city. Upon arriving in Toronto, the second thing that impressed me was its strong culture of knowledge-sharing among design peers. I can’t wait to hear more about good design, meet more passionate designers, and be part of such a strong community.
Catch Eleni’s keynote, “Typography in Digital Environments and Future Technologies,” on November 3 at 10:30 a.m. EST.