Encounters of the Third Type Writing with pictures

Atelier national de recherche typographique École nationale supérieure d’art et de design de Nancy Lundi 19 – mardi 20 février 2018 Campus ARTEM Nancy, France



With: Ruedi Baur, Integral Ruedi Baur, Paris (FR) Johannes Bergerhausen, Hochschule Mainz (DE) Christopher Burke, Univ. Reading (UK) Charlène Cassier, Magali Massiera, Frédéric Rouffet, Arcanae / Univ. Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 (FR) Sébastien Dégeilh , Antonio Silveira Gomes, ISDAT Toulouse (FR), FCTUC (PT) Marie Flesch, ATILF Nancy (FR) Colin M. Ford, Hoefler & Co, NYC (USA) Pierre Fournier, ANRT-Nancy / Labex Archimede - HieroLexique / Arcanae (FR) Charles Gautier, Univ. Paris Descartes (FR) Jochen Gerner, Nancy (FR) Jérémie Hornus, Gaetan Baehr, Julie Soudanne, [Black]Foundry, Paris (FR) Paul D.Hunt, Adobe, San Francisco (USA) Thomas Huot-Marchand, ENSAD Nancy - ANRT (FR) Luna Kindler, ENSAV La Cambre, Bruxelles (BE) Aline Melaet, ENSAV La Cambre, Bruxelles (BE) Gilles Palsky, Univ. Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (FR) Éloïsa Pérez , ENSAD Nancy - ANRT (FR) Luciano Perondi, ISIA Urbino, Univ. Urbino (IT) Morgane Pierson, Arthur Francietta, ENSAD Nancy - ANRT (FR) Anne-Lyse Renon, Telecom Paris Tech i3 CNRS, EHESS, Paris (FR) Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer, Glyphs / Schriftlabor, Vienna (AU) Shivay la bruja, Ecole offshore Shanghai – ENSAD Nancy / Lyon (FR) Coline Sunier, Charles Mazé, Bruxelles (BE) / ENSAD Nancy - ANRT (FR) Daniel Utz, Hochschule für Gestaltung, Schwäbisch Gmünd, University of Applied Sciences (DE)


Writing with pictures

“I think that this was this possibility of actively combining things which was at the bottom of the joy I took in symbols, whether they appeared in isolation and could be put together, or in combinations that could be split up and then recombined in different ways. I regretted that the old picture writing had gradually disappeared instead of becoming the source of a kind of international picture language which would be able to bring together all kinds of people.” Otto Neurath, From hieroglyphics to Isotype, a visual autobiography, chap.4. London, Hyphen Press, 2010.

The Encounters of the Third Type explore the boundaries of typographic systems : neither Latin nor non-Latin, but of another kind.

The popularity and recent development of emojis has revived the oldest type of writing : pictographic writing systems. The letters of the alphabet, distant descendants of ideograms, are now mixed with small coloured images, primitive and almost universal symbols. The rapid adoption of emojis by users worldwide is putting unprecedented pressure on the organization responsible for standardizing these signs and deciding on their adoption, the Unicode consortium. For instance, the debates aroused by the representation of genres and skin tones in emojis underline both the limits of archetypal representations, and their intrinsic ambiguity.

Is writing with images still writing? Is a pictographic writing system able to express everything, and to embrace the entire visible and sayable universe?

What can ancient writing systems, such as Egyptian hieroglyphs, or projects such as Otto Neurath Isotype, teach us with regards to contemporary practice? What kind of linguistic or semantic limits are posed by the normalization of these symbols? What role do pictograms play when mixed with letters of the alphabet? Is their use really universal, or are there any cultural differences in their adoption?