Linguhacks / Typohacks

Gender-sensitive Language and Typography

Author: hannahwitte

The topic of gender-sensitive language for designers and in design discourses often still represents a major challenge. Even these days we are lacking a fair and sensitive understanding for non binary typography and language. Linguhacks / Typohacks is a book showing an approach of gender-sensitive language and typography. It deals with hacking methods for a non-binary use of typography in the German language.

The book, as hinted at in the title, is divided into two parts: Linguhacks / Typohacks, and can either be started from the front cover, or flipped over, turned 90 degrees, and started from the back cover. It is on the one hand an introduction to the topic of gender-sensitive language for designers and people working in design-related fields. On the other hand, it is a typographic reference work with suggestions and ideas for the micro-typographic handling of non-binary language forms.

The book presents different possibilities of using gender-sensitive language by applying typographic means that avoid annoyance for readers. But it also asks the question whether gender-sensitive hacks have to avoid annoyance at all. Should they perhaps not be pleasant at all? Following this question, the book presents the idea of the Gender-Trouble-Star, which pursues the function of being placed in texts in a way that is as loud and disturbing as possible.

Another level of content is formed by a series of interviews with designers Ann Richter from Studio Pandan, Daniela Burger from Missy Magazine and Prof. Ralf de Jong, co-author of the reference work Detailtypografie. They report on their views on anti-discriminatory language actions and the use of gender-sensitive language in their creative practice.

Linguhacks / Typohacks is the bachelor thesis of Hannah Witte who graduated in spring 2020 at the Folkwang University of Art in Essen. The work was supervised by Prof. Claudius Lazzeroni (Communication Design) and Prof. Simon Dickel (Gender and Diversity). The publication is not yet available to buy, but will be funded by a Kickstarter campaign in the upcoming weeks, if you are interested in the product you can contact Hannah Witte here, and support the Kickstarter campaign, so that the book can be published by form Verlag.

Linguhacks / Typohacks

Concept, Text, and Design: Hannah Witte
Publisher: form Verlag

Release: 2020
Volume: 212 pages
Language: German
Fonts: Monument Grotesk by Kasper Florio, Rosart by Katharina Köhler
Paper: Design Offset 1.2 120 g/sm, Maxigloss 135 g/sm
Format: 23 × 17 cm

Support the Kickstarter campaign, by contacting Hannah Witte here.


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