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Room: The Written Keystones

Typographic masonry is literally and figuratively the applied art of communication in the public space. Therewith it is inextricably bound to social cultural context, and thus, societal trends and issues. So, the mason inevitably enters into a relationship with its time. Over the centuries, I have come across numerous mason’s who rejected the dominant social order and the role assigned to them. Masons, also known as graphic designers, who deviated from the ‘norm’ and tried to change the world–rewriting prevailing codes and branching out from well-trodden paths. From the foundations of their craft they pursued their convictions in striving to transform society.

Some of these ambitious and strong minded typographic masons’ have left us with traces of their ideas and beliefs in the forms of writings, pamphlets, lectures or manifestos. This section of the Department of Order celebrates as much as contextualises these evidences of ideals. Now between you and me, I know as a matter of fact that the Initiator is actually quite opinionated himself, when it comes to the discipline of the typographic mason. And it is no lesser then himself, Richard Niessen, who discusses The Written Keystones against the background of societal trends, and evaluates it with his own experiences as a graphic designer: showing how these ideas reverberate in The Palace of Typographic Masonry.

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