Sociotype Journal — Editorial Design

Sociotype Journal is a new platform for thoughts on culture and society, from London-based digital type foundry, Sociotype, and design studio, Socio. We believe typography should start conversations and spread new ideas. Above all, it must communicate. So rather than make our type specimens with the customary pangrams or pithy dummy copy, we’ve founded the Journal; a type specimen, and so much more besides. 

Each issue we’ll invite some interesting people to help us explore a single theme, inspired by (and typeset in) a particular type family from Sociotype. We believe type only really comes alive when it’s engaged with culture, so our contributors are

largely from outside the world of type design. Typography may be our bread and butter, but the Journal is only about type insofar as that’s how we tell our stories. The rest is up for grabs.

Issue #1: The Gesture

When words fail us, we let our hands do the talking. Whether carved into marble two millennia ago, or attempting to carve out a little personal space on the subway, our hands always have story to tell. Join us in flicking the V’s with Churchill and Nixon, trying on VR mitts and cable knits with NASA, and uncovering the secret codes of the illuminati, street gangs and Easyjet flight attendants.

We’ll get to grips with the Gestural theory of the evolution of language, and grapple with whether Gibson’s theory of Affordance might explain why we can’t resist goofing around in our holiday snapshots. We’ll see what the People of Twitter thought of David Shrigley’s giant thumbs up for London, and give a tiny thumbs down for Trump. We’ll witness the shapes thrown by sign language poets, and the splats and swirls of performative painters and zen calligraphers. If we’re lucky, we’ll even discover the meaning of the word ‘thist’.


  • Edition of 1,500 copies
  • 10 Essays, 7 image-led articles
  • 28 Page technical type specimen
  • Section sewn, printed in 4 colours + 2 Special pantones, with an 8 page foil embossed cover
  • Designed and printed in the uk on FSC recycled papers by Fedrigoni
  • Sociotype journal features no advertising


  • Editors: Nic Carter + Henrietta Thompson
  • Creative direction: Nic Carter + Nigel Bates
  • Design: Alicia Mundy
  • Issue #1 is typeset in gestura, designed by Joe Leadbeater, Diana Ovezea + Nigel Bates

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