Recorded during TypeCon2015: Condensed in Denver, Colorado
Stencils have been commonly used in lettering and type for centuries, and for a variety of reasons. Rooted in function, stencil styles have remained in use despite the advances in technology that could feasibly render them obsolete. Shifting in some cases entirely from their utilitarian origin, stencil styles give opportunity to explore the letterforms, breaking up the strokes and patterns that the eye is accustomed to reading and sacrificing ease of use for dramatic effect. In other instances the stencil is made necessary by the medium, but takes advantage of the variance in form to fuse aesthetic and necessity. This talk will cover some unique and notable uses of stencils in a variety of environments, writing systems and styles, touching on both historical use and recent instances. Whether the broken serif styles of early French stencils, utilitarian military stencils or the scintillating Dala Prisma, stencil type presents a fascinating study on form, function and everything in between.