Two years ago I reported about Tipos Latinos, dedicated to promoting Latin American typography and type design, for the first time. It is created by students, professionals, and enthusiastic followers spread out over the whole Latin American region. Its main objective is the organisation of Tipos Latinos, the Biennial of Latin American Typography, whose fifth edition will travel all over the world.
Tipos Latinos 2012, the Fifth Biennial Show on Latin American Typography, is testimony to the fact that Latin American typography is soaring. In the last two decades type design in Latin America has experienced an astonishing expansion, both in quality and quantity. It even rivals European type design, which builds on more than five centuries of history. This seizable and fast growth has caught the attention of the design world at large. This convinced many Latin American type designers to exchange their knowledge and experience between colleagues all around the globe and to export their fonts, sharing them with the rest of the world.
With this fifth edition, Tipos Latinos is about to take its biggest leap outside of Latin America since it was founded. Thanks to an agreement with Instituto Cervantes — the not-for-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991 devoted to disseminating Spanish and Latin American culture globally — Tipos Latinos 2012 will be travelling throughout the world. For the first time the exhibition will visit Egypt, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and Romania, with many more countries to be announced. It goes without saying that Tipos Latinos will return to Spain for the third time, and the organisation are also hoping to set foot in the United States in the very near future. Furthermore they will keep pushing the boundaries within their native region, with more than 30 cities hosting the event in Latin America.
For this edition the selection of the works on display took place in Caracas (Venezuela) in March. From the 368 submissions 76 projects were selected by a jury composed of Darío Muhafara (Argentina), Fabio Lopez (Brazil), Miguel Hernández (Chile), Viviana Monsalve (Colombia), Francisco Calles (Mexico), Gustavo Wojciechowski (Uruguay) Juan Carlos Darias (Venezuela). The categories “Text”, “Family” and “Design with Latin American fonts” – real-world projects that use Latin American fonts – grew the most. Together with the “Display” typefaces they show that Latin American type designers are seriously dedicated to offering commercially successful, market-ready products. Argentina did remarkably well, with 28 all-Argentinian projects and 4 collaborations between Argentinian designers and other Latin American colleagues. Others Latin American countries with selected projects include Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. For the first time projects from Denmark, the United Kingdom and a collaboration between Mexico, South Korea and the USA are amongst the work selected for “Design with Latin American fonts”, proving that Latin American type design and typography are expanding globally.
As usual Tipos Latinos will offer a varied range of activities to accompany the show. Lectures, workshops, book presentations, film screenings, guided tours and even an exhibition dedicated to Edward Johnston are some of the many options visitors worldwide will be able to enjoy. The ultimate goal of Tipos Latinos is to make more people aware of the work of the Latin American type designers, and of the relevance of type design today.
The organisation of Tipos Latinos wish to congratulate all the selected contestants and express their appreciation for the unwavering support and trust they receive from Latin American type designers. Thanks to their commitment and talent Latin America keeps solidifying its position as an alternative hotbed for type design. The continued success Tipos Latinos has experienced since its inception has turned it into the most important event of its kind in Latin America, and one of the most important in the world, both foe the number of visitors and for the number of cities where it is displayed. This is indeed a time to celebrate. As they say in Spanish, ¡viva Tipos Latinos! – long live Tipos Latinos; long live Latin American type design!