Will generative typography revolutionize the Web?

Love it or hate it, it’s getting difficult to deny generative typography’s steadily increasing importance in the world of graphic design, and according to a new short film, On Generative Typography, that influence will only continue to grow.

New York brand and experience design firm Collins produced the film to promote the Type Directors Club’s open call for entries to their annual competitions.


On Generative Typography runs just under seven minutes, and features four prominent designers and typographers from around the world discussing their thoughts on generative design as a trend, from how it developed, how it can or should be used, to predictions for its impact on the future of typography and design overall.

Rather than…a set of punches and chisels, we now have, you know, a set of APIs that we can use to program a typeface. — Project Projects founder, Prem Krishnamurthy.

For those unfamiliar with the subject, generative typography is a new method of interpreting text using a variety of factors, chosen by its designer, and a unique, code-driven algorithm to influence the rendering of a typeface (or typefaces). The output then, is a new kind of text, one which constantly changes and evolves with the data it represents. (A fantastic interactive example of generative typography at work can be seen on the Type Directors Club’s microsite, type generator.)


Also weighing in on the matter are Project Projects principal Rob Giampetro, Dutch typographer and professor of typography Petr Van Blokland, and Pentagram partner Natasha Jen. Their opinions and predictions provide some unique and polarizing food for thought; is generative typography the future of not only design, but also language and typography at large?


What do you think of generative typography? How will it impact web design? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

  • penina

    Most of the video is an overview of the context and thinking *around* typography. Things start to get interesting for me at about 5:30, when comments veer toward how the designers interviewed imagine the future of type. That and playing with the type generator linked in the article provided the most insights.

  • Sam Malkowski

    I loved the video. It flowed well and did a good job of telling me what generative typography is. The editing was great too.

  • Tyler Shuster

    https://medium.com/design-ux/eea117eab826 I’ve written my thoughts in a post on medium

  • Tim

    Interesting video. Unfortunately, the TDC microsite doesn’t let me change the text in any way. It told me to enter a word up to 6 character and I did, but nothing happens.

    • penina

      Tim, I had the same problem until I bit the bullet and submitted my location. Annoying, but it got it to work.

  • Heinz

    This is real generative typography https://vimeo.com/60651938