In Drucker’s article, “Experimental Typography As A Modern Practice,” she discusses the use of typography and its influence on literary print and advertising print. Typography emerged in the late nineteenth century in response to the “avant-garde attitude” that developed within the graphic art community. The text is enunciated in such a way that establishes a divide for the text to be marked or unmarked.


Drucker declares that typography developed as a result of the immediate needs within advertising. This became prominent as print became more accessible and there was a need to draw the reader’s attention in a more creative way. Marked typography used for journals and literary magazines to express the meaning of the text through an extent textual style, font, or spacial representation. A marked text focuses on the “…the recipient of the message rather than on the speaker” (p.97). This allows for the world of advertising to increase and grow in size through the new textual style capturing its public audience.


She also describes that an unmarked text is text that is more so to bring attention to the author rather than the material itself. The typography is usually plain so that the text can be ready easily and affectively. Drucker says that the unmarked text is, “…the text in which the words on the page ‘appear to speak themselves’ without the visible intervention of author or printer” (p. 95). For example, the Gutenberg Bible is a text that is unmarked and kept from manipulation of the text’s format so that it does not take away from the message of the text. I believe that Drucker emphasizes these divisions to show how typography influences and acts within the world of advertisement and literary works. Drucker uses this to explain how the world of advertisement is influenced in different ways as the traditional literary text in book form.


Later on Drucker discusses the manipulation of the unmarked text and how it produced other works of art such as the established literary magazine. This was good because it created more great representation but it also allowed for distortion of the text’s meaning. For example, Drucker said that this, “typographic representation, borrowing from the convention of the unmarked text, posited the existence of an absent author whose authority was reworked…” (p. 103). In light of the use of typography the author may not be using the text and as a result it could be altered for another purpose or even change its meaning.


Drucker throughout this article refers to the Dadaists and Futurists that catalyzed the manipulation of literary works but I was kind of concerned when she mentioned the attack of “Dada artists.” I’m not really sure what makes up a Dada artist in this specific context. Also, she mentions several times the affects and intentions of the “avant-garde.” What is she referring to? What kind of people could be considered part of this movement?