“Speculative Type Design” is the title of the final thesis (M.A.) of Daniel Stuhlpfarrer at the University of the Arts Berlin in the class of Prof. Fons Hickmann. This work examines the effect that a cooperation between man and machine has on the design of type and what a future of type design could look like as a result. The key question is: How relevant is the use of new technologies in terms of type design?
This question was further explored using the theories of Gerrit Noordzij's “The Stroke”, Donald E. Knuth's theory of a “metafont” and the unification of type by Douglas R. Hofstadter from the 70s and 80s. These theories were combined with new technologies such as artificial intelligence, algorithms and technological components such as variable font technology. This approach to the subject and the combination of theory and technology led to speculations about a possible future of type design. These speculations range from a total shift in activity to a more concentrated design effort.
The book “Speculative Type Design” is the theoretical examination of the topic. It contains the various theories on the topic of parametric type design, but also contrary theories on type itself. This knowledge forms the basis for speculation about the future of type design. Furthermore, the book is a comprehensive type specimen for the typeface “Bagage” and a user manual for the “Custom Font Generator” in 312 pages.