The Javanese script, used throughout the island of Java for over four centuries, was once host to a bustling typograhic scene; Throughout the island, many scribes used regional stylistic variations with unique quirks no longer seen in today’s writing. The introduction of printing and metal typefaces brought western typographic practice into the design of the Javanese script, creating a unique environment where Javanese and European traditions mingled.
Sadly, Javanese typographic scene came to an abrupt end in the 20th century AD, and since then the script has struggled to stay relevant as it’s role has been supplanted by the Latin alphabet. Lack of typograhic exploration, not to mention the many technical difficulties in using it, also made the script looks bland and uniteresting to many contemporary users. Designers often worked with a very narrow (and not always correct) visual conception of the script, while the rich design legacy of the script is often underutilized or simply ignored. Over the years, the typograhic scene has slowly improved thanks to young designers that are enthuastic and curious of the Javanese script tradition, but there are still a lot to overcome!
This talk would introduce this convoluted -but interesting!- relation of the Javanese script with its past and its present, and how typographic practices are currently being used to slowly revive the script from obscurity and make it relevant to the contemporary design landscape.