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.
The resulting typeface Isotype 2.0 takes all its features from the Isotype Method principles, that have been then translated in OpenType code.
• GLYPHS ACCESS BY KEYBOARD «Above all pictorial signs must be created that can be "read", just as we can all read letters» — Otto Neurath
By keyboard: [glyphname]
• GLYPHS COMBINATION It's also possible to overlap the different components in a single pictogram.
By keyboard: [glyphname1]+ [glyphname2]
• GLYPHS COMPONENTS ACCESS/ PICTOGRAMS COLORS AND OVERLAP By a keyboard combination you can enter the single components of a pictogram.
By keyboard: [glyphname/combination]-d
In this way it's now possibile to color each single component.By activating the stylistic alternates you can overlap the different components in a single pictogram.
• PICTOGRAMS MULTIPLICATION «Quantity must be illustrated by adding a larger number of same-sized symbols rather than larger symbols» — Otto Neurath
According to this Isotype Method's principle you can also multiply the number of a specific glyph.
By keyboard: [1-9][glyphname]
• HALVED PICTOGRAMS «All pictograms should be designed so that they may be halved» — Otto Neurath
Following this other point, you can enter halved pictograms, or combine them with multiplied glyphs, and even color them.
a complex examination of the evolution of dingbat font