Tobias Frere-Jones is a typeface designer, and in his ideation keynote he poses the concept of typefaces as solutions to problems. Many people might think of typefaces and fonts as utilitarian tools, but they have such a massive impact on society that that conception is woefully narrow. Especially in the age of digital communications, fonts are everywhere, and finding the fonts that best solve problems means being willing to break down what already exists.
As far as typefaces are concerned, Frere-Jones had to find a way to break down the process of reading itself. That's a tall task for something so innately ingrained in literate people, but he found a way to do so by creating typefaces that mash together several letter-like structures, or typefaces with shifted and inky letters. Creating through that destruction helped him to understand how people read and what areas they latch on to.
Destroying to Create
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