Type is Tres Chic

Lucky magazine (http://luckymag.com) is an upmarket lifestyle monthly, one that styles itself The Magazine of Shopping and Style. In glorious color and replete with beautiful people modeling the latest fashions, one would think that it would appeal to, if anyone, more a layout artist than a typographer. But there is a treat this month of the typophile.

Lucky magazine type couture Article Illo

Type as style: Lucky Magazine, March 2008, page 74

On page 74 of the March 2008 issue, illustrated on the cover by a photo of a vibrant Rachel Bilson, is a single-page article naming a trend in the making – typography.

Page 74 gives us six high-style examples of how type is breaking into high fashion; A dress by the Vena Cava house; a jewelry designer’s ring, made completely from letterforms; a Hera silk dress, whose mosaic-like patter is made up the negative space between glyphs; a John Derian decoupage tray whose design is made of eighteen of the twenty-six essential Roman glyphs (which “looks like it was taken from the turn-of-the-century print shop”); a pillow based on an Alexander Girard typographic wallpaper; and a “drapey” women’s top with a yoke sprinkled with miniscules.

The article itself is a simple and rather insightful paragraph:

Letters and number are perhaps the most iconic graphic elements of all, which means they can project any kind of mood; Depending on the design, they can call to mind the kidlike charm of a classroom or the bold heraldry of old-school signage …

We might have some gentle quarrel with some of the high-flying language but not the meaning; Lucky‘s editor “gets” what those of us who love type have known for a very long time now: mere type is more than marks on a page. It projects a mood, has emotional resonance, and most of all, has interest.

The fashions are not for the budget-minded; the pillow alone will run you $79, and the Vena Cava dress and jacket (at $610 and #495 respectively) could kit the aspirant purchaser out with a mid-level Wintel laptop. But we think the entry of type onto the radar screens of at least one trendspotter is the indication of a possible trend that is, in and of itself, worth spotting.