This MA's thesis Degree in Communication Design at Politecnico di Milano / School of Design focuses on the past, present and future development of the dingbat fonts. Starting from the concept of pictogram and non-alphabetic language, the thesis refers to the historical process in order to comprehend the origin of the first dingbat typefaces, in terms of form and function, and explores the new chances offered by the still in progress evolution of the OpenType features applied to the making of these fonts. Through the analysis of about 50 case studies, the main features of the last 40 years dingbat fonts have been outlined till the last applications through the use of the OpenType features. The last examples in this way have been the two typefaces designed by Travis Kochel (Scribble Tone), FF Chartwell and Flagsmith, that inspired the theme of my Thesis, together with the several original dingbat fonts released in the last few years.
The thesis takes its title by the research supporting project. As result, in fact, in the second part of the dissertation it has been developed a dingbat font based on the Otto Neurath's Isotype system, that was the very first attempt in the making of an organic system supporting most of contemporary graphic and infographic design.
Analyzing the original drawings it came out that the Isotype method was in a certain way the precursor of the more complex OpenType dingbat font principles.Using the OpenType features, the system, translated into an interactive typeface, is brought to the next level, according to the contemporary demands and chances.