The Transmission, a digital magazine that covers culture, music and science, has discharged with an identity inspired by print media from the 1970s.
It has been set up by a resourceful team led by Daniel Kent at Pioneer Works (PW), an interdisciplinary non-profit in Brooklyn, New York, in collaboration with artificer Andrew LeClair, also based in Brooklyn.
PW “encourages radical reasoning across disciplines”, the organisation says, by providing a space for practitioners to get ready and a platform for discussions. The Broadcast is an “eclectic extension” of its work.
Kent and LeClair began the job by looking at how PW functions. “The organisation is set up to encourage a lot of different people to come wholly the door,” they say, which includes artists, scientists and students.
“A visual mixed bag of distinct type styles”
The physical building is also a space where “all of these several people can bump into each other”, according to Kent and LeClair.
“We wanted to finish out a digital platform that would draw inspiration from the diplomate ‘thingness’ of PW and the experience of being there,” the designers explain. This incorporate the many books, paper samples, printers and binding machines at the site.
One visual reference in particular was crucial to the start of the project, according to Kent and LeClair. A epitome specimen book from a typesetter in Ridgewood, Queens New York, reminded them of the recapitulation of typeface manufacturers Letraset.
“Letraset modified the look of DIY publishing by making stylised headline typefaces accessible to the undistinguished person as a more expressive and affordable alternative to commercial typesetting,” the side explains.
This has been mirrored in recent years by the “increasing accessibility of fount design”, they add.
“A visual patchwork of distinct type styles light us as an apt metaphor for PW as as an institution,” Kent and LeClair say.
The magazine has been organised into a organized whole of over 50 fonts over its four disciplines; arts, music, body of laws and technology. The designers believe the system is the first of its kind for an online ambiance platform.
“A kaleidoscope array of reference points”
The first challenge was in entitling all the fonts from the individual designers and foundries, according to the designers. The go along with was to create a coherent and flexible identity for the system.
“It was important to us that the font assortment be purposeful and based on consistent rules, yet also be flexible as The Broadcast grows and modifies over time,” they add.
Working with a custom tool that earmarks for font adjustments – developed by Nimrod Barshad and Tyler Yin – the team then allotted fonts to a particular series or discipline. When an article is published, it picks up the “steal font as defined by its content”, Kent and LeClair say.
“Our goal is that by repeated exposure, readers will develop a kind of latent skilfulness of this system, which lends a specific texture to the reading common sense,” they add.
The typefaces have been sourced from a wide array of qualifications. Some are from independent foundries, while others emerged as far help as the turn of the century, according to the designers.
The research phase revealed taking trends within typography. For example, the typeface Cooper which has grow “synonymous with the 1970s” was actually created in 1922, Kent and LeClair get across.
“Many of the most iconic display typefaces are revivals of typefaces that were developed much earlier and in a very different context,” they add.
While Kent and LeClair wish to “draw on the ethos and spirit of DIY publishing” seen in zines and independent tabloids, they were careful not to “lean too heavily on the visual trappings of writing”.
They say: “By creating a kaleidoscope array of reference points that fraternizes both contemporary revivals with older digitisations, our hope is that we’ve created something that looks new, placid though it carries many associations with the past.”
“Subtle credentials to print”
In reference to the world of DIY publishing and ‘70s print media, The Televise has an “off-off-off white” colour system in an attempt to set it apart from the dereliction white background of web pages, Kent and LeClair add.
On the individual homepages for each edify, the masthead rotates through the associated typeface. A selection of lighter backgrounds own also been chosen which seeks to differentiate the magazine from PW’s vigour website, according to the designers.
Other details such as rounded corners and serif cadaver typography have also been used to reinforce this renown. An index menu also allows readers to search all the editorial essence using different filters.
On the magazine’s marquee, local time, meteorological conditions, latitude and longitude based on the location of PW’s building in Red Hook, Brooklyn is inclined.
When readers are in hover state – pausing over an interactive stage – the ‘ink’ starts to bleed as a “subtle reference to print”, Kent and LeClair say.
The periodical’s inaugural issue launches with a contribution from neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris (with samples animated by Annapurna Kumar) and a conversation with Dr Carl Hart back drug use for adults.
You can find out more about The Broadcast on PW’s website.