We recognise the power of typography in shaping reader experience and the important (symbiotic) relationship between the form and function of text. But typography and the clarity of which information is presented also has a direct impact on how information is retained as well as understood.
Matthew Butterick recently wrote “Typography matters because it helps conserve the most valuable resource you have as a writer—reader attention,”
Acknowledging that information becomes softer and less sharp over time Memoire is a typesystem which slowly deteriorates, spreads and softens as pages turn. Adding another layer to the readers' experience. It's virtually imperceptible with each shift, but the curves on each letter become more pronounced from beginning to end of the La Petite Mort Publication (for which Memoire was designed).
Throughout the issue, there are sixteen subtle shifts in how the typeface appears. These mutations are designed to reflect the way our actual memories change, according to Michelle Ando, a graphic designer at Sub Rosa, and her creative collaborator Ryan Bugden, who worked on the issue's layout and design.
The Sub Rosa website states: 'Memory is an impermanent, malleable record of an event. With each recollection, details of a memory morph and blur depending on the context at hand. An analogue exists in typography. As metal type is used time and time again, the letterforms wear down and lose their sharpness. This connection between memory and type inspired Memoire'.
Memoire's shape grammar is derived from the letterforms of De Vinne, a typeface cut in the late nineteenth century by Gustav Schroeder, when the act of printing yielded a transformation not unlike the distortion of a memory.
"In drawing Memoire, I treated sharp features more consistently in order to make its transformation feel uniform across each character," Bugden says. "Sharpness dulls, and corners fill in. The headlines' transformation throughout the publication is something the readers sense before they fully discover, adding another layer of depth to this issue’s theme. Each reader makes the discovery in their own time, so each reader’s experience is unique."