Times. They are a-changin’

I was reading a few Typophile threads about a new typeface called Chatype. Something of an official typeface for the city of Chattanooga. After it spiraled downward into a debate about the ethics and commerce surrounding Kickstarter and spec work,  the concept of Disneyfication sprang to mind. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, the largest industry is tourism. As such, the majority of our waterfront has been transformed into a tacky, tourist version of itself, where they force minimum wage employees in taverns and the like to dress up in period costumes, walk along the boardwalk, sing old-tyme sailor tunes &c, all veiled in the spirit of cultural preservation.

It’s an interesting discussion. Imagine an endangered species. You can let it die, or put it in a cage and breed it. However, by caging it, even though you are keeping it alive, you are removing it’s natural ability to adapt and thrive in a changing environment, ultimately working against your own end.

The closest real-world example I can think of is the passing of Bill 101 in Québec city, 1997. It legally required all signage to be presented with French as the predominant language ie; bigger and at the top. This was very controversial at the time.

But again, it raises the question, what is the best way to preserve, or in the case of Chattanooga and Chatype, promote a culture in a natural and sustainable fashion?

Will there be city-wide brand strategy? Signage restrictions? An identity-standards manual for all businesses? What if my business is from a different culture? Am I still required to use Chatype?

Times. They are a-changin’

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