Joseph A. DiGioia
Semiotics and structuralism view the alphabet as nothing more than a coding system for our verbal language. The Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure introduced the principle of linguistic value which theorizes that the identity of a signifier (letter) rests not in the signifier itself, but solely in its relation to other signifiers. This would suggest that independent of words and sentences the individual letterform has no intrinsic value and therefore must be judged in this holistic way. When one looks at the intentions of the De Stijl and Bauhaus type designers one immediately recognizes their desire to call attention to the system of their fonts as a whole rather to the individual letterforms. This seems to support, in typographic terms, what the post-structuralist Jacques Derrida was looking for in his pursuit of “a form or function organized according to an internal legality in which elements have meaning only in the solidarity of the correlation or their opposition”.21 [Ler mais...]

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