Prof. Jenna Spevack | COMD3504_D061 | SPRING 2024 | Thurs 2:30pm

“Widows, Orphans, Runts: Kill ’em. Kill ’em All.” – MN


Overview (Heading H2)

Some typography terms are outdated and should be reconsidered in modern context. When analyzed via the lenses of modern communication theory, feminist philosophy, and accessibility, the use of the terms “widow”, “orphan”, and “runt”, can be easily seen as problematic, and just as easily replaced with more modern, effective, and less vague terminology.

We have every reason to work towards a better world via design. And that better world can and should be more inclusive, or at least not so exclusive. It would be amazing if the not-so-micro aggression of the language used in the design layout industry regarding type was simply less hostile.

Someone said to me recently, a person might not know propaganda if they’re the target. This might be a good way of looking at terminology that is limiting, but will never include the listener. It’s easy to “see no problem” while unaffected by the behavior.

It’s time for the design industry to grow up and act like a world industry. If we can agree to use retrograde terminology as a group, we can agree to change it as a group. Let’s hear an end to the use of old terms, and replace them, simply, with ending “bad rag”. Good design should have no need to be mean.


Script & Annotated Bibliography


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  1. Avar He Zapata

    Really cool video! You were very dramatic in this one, perhaps you can try to slow down in some areas and maybe read a little calmer.

  2. Adrika Hoque

    Hi Miranda, I think you chose a really great topic as the lack of inclusive design is a really contemporary issue! I enjoyed how you brought in the course material and you had some good visuals in the slides. I would have liked learning a bit more about what terms we should be using instead and how we as a design community can adopt these new terms. Great delivery of your presentation, good job!

  3. Sonali Heath

    Hello Miranda, Your topic really had me open my mind and interested me. Ive always wondered why to we designers had to learn certain terms based on that source of terminology. You’ve made some excellent points to show how controversial, using these terms are in society. I would say that this was great and interesting to research on.

  4. Andre Sadhu

    Excellent presentation Miranda. You were very poetic and you explained your point very well, also referring to the readings.

  5. Tonisha

    Great presentation, maybe if there was a cut on repetitive points and a bit more visuals it would have made your presentation short and informative. Your verbal expression is entertaining.

  6. Miranda N.

    Thanks to you all for your comments. Super supportive and helpful. I plan to re-cut and re-record, so your crits are good guidance for issues I was also seeing. Very helpful to have your comments in class as well. Have a fantastic summer!

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