When asked, after 50 years of research, what he knew about the reason people sleep, William Dement, founder of Stanford University’s Sleep Research Center, answered, “As far as I know, the only reason we need to sleep that is really, really solid is because we get sleepy.”
Neutral is the attempt to create a typeface that is free of all connotations or associations that could distract a reader from the text, a font that delivers the character of the written material untouched by the character of the typeface design. The whole project started with a discussion about why certain typefaces seemed to ‘age better’, or indeed age less than others: there seemed to be something about some of the big milestones of 20th century type design that kept them fresh for more than fifty years.
The process drew from ideas such as the Platonic form theory, Conceptual Art, Taoism and tea ceremonies. Part of the project was to develop a design methodology of comparisons and measurements of typefaces and typeface genres to come up with rules for the design of the typeface.
Aware that there is no such thing as total neutrality, this typeface explores how the absence of stylistic associations can help the reader to engage with the content of a text.
"Sometimes I crank up some music and just let it go," says W., explaining the daily painting regimen he now enjoys in his Dallas retirement. This video that accompanies his new exhibit of presidential portraits of leaders of other nation-states takes our own nation-state to a new apex of self-parody, to say nothing of our beautiful, insane all-American capacity to wrap the horrors of our past in a cocoon of post-Protestant banality (and in this case, geopolitics practiced in the style of a fraternity pledge captain).
You really have to see it to believe it. (Consider Abu Ghraib photos as semiotic aperitif.)