Lines of Reading

© Jack Henrie Fisher.


Artwork by Jack Henrie Fisher, graphic designer and design research at Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, The Netherlands


Jack Henrie Fisher has explored the relationship between typography, data and format in numerous projects. As a design researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie in The Netherlands, he is working to engineer a set of procedures by which a conversation can take place and be immediately transcribed, elaborated, contested, formalized and distributed as a book. Here he presents three of his projects in which he examines typography, reading techniques, legibility, organization and meaning.



This typographic essay invokes an opening in modernist formal enclosures by exigencies of reading and textuality. The essay composes a reading of Gyorgy Kepes’s landmark design text “Language of Vision”. It constructs an index of significant terms and visualizes their recurrences and concatenations throughout Kepes’s book. In its investigation into the “language” of an analytic typography, the essay draws out the formal ramifications of specific textual technologies, of lines of reading in printed books and of the crossing linkages that constitute hypertext. The essay is at once a careful discursive examination of the foundations and limitations of modernist form, and a forward-looking elaboration of what new lines of reading might be imagined and inscribed–in which typography and data electronically break the static surface of the printed artifact to crystallize new figures of meaning and information. 162-page book




This poster series was designed for the conference Becoming-major/Becomingminor organized by Vanessa Brito at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, The Netherlands in 3-4 December 2009. The conference was occupied with the problem of trying to think the ethical implications—and the potential for emancipation—of a “minor” image of thought which embodies notions of passivity, automatism and machinic repetition, as opposed to the “major” or enlightenment ideal of thought most famously articulated by Kant in his essay “What is Enlightenment?” The poster series begins to elaborate a procedural typography from the idea of the minor. Each poster performs a different anagrammatical reading-through of “What is Enlightenment,” successively finding the letters of the conference title hidden in the words of Kant’s text. In this automated reading technique, a different passage from Kant is highlighted each time, and a different condition for legibility is made in the uneven organization of the title letters. A2-size posters.





Jack Henrie Fisher is a freelance graphic designer and a design researcher at Jan van Eyck Academie. He has worked and taught at Bruce Mau Design, studio/lab, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is formulating a practice with typography as an experiment with forms of ascesis connected to listening and writing.

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