Bierut On Modern Typesetting For Designers: Like Having “As Much Sex As They Wanted”

No! No, no, no, no! What are you crazy? Of course you cannot read Virginia Postrel‘s article about type in this month’s Atlantic online! Are you out of your mind?

But what you can do is watch a video of Michael Bierut (looking adorable, especially during that opening stroll) talkin’ type to accompany this mysterious piece about “a revolution in typeface design.” And we swear to god, Bierut makes a comparison between photo typesetting and birth control that we’re pretty sure is unprintable here. It’s no “It’s The Real Thing. Period. Coke. Period. Any Questions? Of Course Not.” But it’ll do.

The article opens (we say it opens but that’s so ironic since the opening is really all we have to work with here) by describing the artistry of Bierut’s type-only Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design (designed by Abbott Miller):

Yet the book is a graphic extravaganza. Each of the 79 essays is set in a different typeface, ranging in age from Bembo, designed in 1495, to Flama, created in 2006. This profusion of typefaces would have been inconceivable when Bierut, 50, was starting out as a graphic designer. ‘I’m not sure in 1982 I could have come up with 79 different text fonts,’ he says.”

You can also read this interview with Gary Hustwit, which Postrel conducted by phone, so she probably didn’t get to see Hustwit throw up in his mouth a little after being asked for the 1,456th time the only question that any interviewer has ever opened with: “Why make a film about a typeface?”

Now. Luckily for you, friends, we are trained in the ways of magic, allowing us to conjure up this top secret no-registration-required link to the story in full. However, like all magic, there’s a catch. That link will expire in three days. Use your powers wisely.