Font geeks, rejoice!
FF Blur by legendary designer Neville Brody
MoMA has been on something of an acquisitions spree of late, following up their recent purchase of artist David Woknarowicz’s controversial “A Fire in My Belly” (that’s the video of ants crawling over Christ’s body that the Smithsonian took down after it ruffled some feathers in the Catholic League) with 23 digital typefaces for its Architecture and Design collection. Before this, Helvetica was the only font in the 30,000-piece collection, but it’s now joined by equally famous brethren like Verdana and Gotham as well as less common fonts like Walker, Template Gothic and even OCR-A, which is used only in bar codes.
These new fonts are only the beginning of a new concentration in collecting typography, an undertaking MoMA approaches with the same criteria they would any other medium. They consider everything from “aesthetics to historical relevancy, functionality to social significance [and] technological ingenuity to economy.” Like the other objects in the design collection, these fonts are commercially available, so even if you aren’t a font fanatic you won’t be out of your league; You’ll probably recognize Gotham from Obama’s Presidential campaign.
See the fonts in all their splendor in the exhibition “Standard Deviations,” which opens at MoMA on March 2nd, 2011.