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Speech on Type: Typography Podcasts by Typeradio

Posted by Rebecca Blake on March 10, 2015

Typeradio LogoNow in its eighth year of netcasting, Typeradio is an internet radio stream with a wealth of material. The website offers a truly global view of typography, with in-depth interviews conducted at studios, offices, and conferences from around Europe, the United States, India, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition to the interviews, Typeradio features a few delightfully cheesy music selections from type conferences (such as “CMYK” sung to the tune of “YMCA”). Other oddball offerings are the “One Minute of Type” workshops, in which students were asked to translate a typeface to one minute of sound. That project was further developed into Chinese Whispers, in which a second generation of students took the sound recordings and translated them back to typefaces, often with surprising results.

The real value of Typeradio lies in the range of interview guests. The podcasts are not just limited to prominent designers, such as Marian Bantjes, Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher, and Michael Beirut. Lesser known, but equally fascinating, professionals from a variety of backgrounds provide insights into their inspirations, work habits, and belief systems. Many of the interviews begin with a rather intrusive question – often “Are you religious?” – and evolve into comprehensive discussions. (For example, Michael Beirut reveals that, driven by his OCD tendencies, he feels compelled to post his Design Observer blog posts with time stamps only ending in a “5” – 11:45, 1:15, etc.)

Since the podcasts have been collected over several years – Typeradio was founded in 2005 by Donald Beekman of Dutch design firm DBXL, designer Liza Enebeis, and type studio Underware – the list of podcasts is dauntingly long. Fortunately, visitors can sort the offerings by guest speaker, date, type of podcast, and location, or search for relevant interviews by keyword. (The search feature is somewhat buggy; typing a partial word seems to yield better search results.) Typeradio continues to broadcast—their most recent interview dates back to early March – and asks that supporters donate a small fee to support their work.

Below: clicking onto one of Typeradio’s podcasts triggers a dropdown menu with information about the interviewee and relevant links.

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