Hidden Diversity: Lessons from four centuries of Javanese script heritage

Letterform Archive

Write a Review
Adding to cart… The item has been added

The archipelago now known as Indonesia is well known for its cultural diversity, which extends to writing systems. Unfortunately, everyday use of traditional Indonesian scripts, including the Javanese script, has largely been supplanted by the Latin alphabet. One stumbling block in many contemporary efforts to revitalize the script is the lack of appealing visual styles. However, when we peel back the script beyond monotonous tables endlessly repeated on the internet, the history of Javanese script shows a rich tradition of visual variation in all sorts of materials—from the calligraphic hands of palace manuscripts to display types used in magazines.

In this talk, Bayu will show how he used archival Javanese materials to expand the typography of Javanese in contemporary usage. See some of the materials he collected over the years and how they were used in some of his typographic works. Hear Bayu’s personal experience working with Javanese and other Indonesian scripts, and his ongoing efforts to learn and promote design excellence in traditional scripts.

Letterform Lectures are a public aspect of the Type West postgraduate program. The series is co-presented by the San Francisco Public Library, where events are free and open to all.