Marshall McLuhan observed that the invisible matrix of the media technologies we inhabit becomes apparent as they grow obsolete, acquiring new significance and status. With this understanding, Shinn focuses on the effects of ink gain and the way in which it has diminished from the era of letterpress to today’s high-resolution offset printing. Worldwide exhibits glyphs of vectored detail that is both a means to pre-empt small amounts of gain at text sizes, and a source of visual interest in display cuts: vertical stems are cinched in the middle, serifs are delicately barbed, and acute joints between stems are hollowed out with ink traps. This detailing, although systematically formalized, has a mannered quality suggestive of the complex trace of process it addresses.
Worldwide. License at Linotype.