Marginalized Typography

Kerning 2017, June 9 — Dan Rhatigan – Marginalized Typography from GrUSP on Vimeo.

As typesetting became easier and cheaper in the age of photosetting and rub-down type, the increased access to a wide array of type styles enabled the growth of publishing in communities that previously had less access to the means of production. Coinciding with an era of social progress, small publications for gay audiences rose up from the underground to achieve commercial success as their visibility grew and their social stigma decreased. This overview of magazines for mature gay audiences looks at the often novel and witty use of typography and design in genres rarely considered for anything other than their photography. Removing the focus on imagery, it’s useful to see how much this genre has in common with other movements in the 20th century. Analysis of the typefaces used and how they were typeset also reveal clues about the changing means of production available over the years, and the evolution of some publications as their communities and markets shifted over the years from the underground to the increasingly mainstream.