There are many definitions of neutrality within different disciplines, however a lot of them apply to this project – and they do cause some problems.
What I proposed was based around neutrality, but it has since become apparent that this has to be in relation to something.
Neutrality in chemistry is defined as “inert: having only a limited ability to react chemically” (“Wordnet Search – 3.0”, n.d). The typeface proposed wasn’t intended to react with the audience, but it is intended to react with the context of its use. This definition could work, as it’s only reacting with some things, but it needs to react really well with its context to work as intended.
The next problem is with “possessing no distinctive quality or characteristics” (“Wordnet Search – 3.0”, n.d). When it comes to a typeface, this in itself would make it distinctive, creating a paradox. It is impossible for a typeface to be completely void of character, because being staid and inoffensive in itself is a characteristic.
The one definition of neutrality which seemed to fit particularly well with the problems identified in the proposal was “not supporting or favoring either side in a war, dispute or contest” (“Wordnet Search – 3.0”, n.d). The “war” could be with the typeface’s surroundings – it shouldn’t be at odds with those anyway, if chosen carefully. In the context of this project, the typeface shouldn’t be leaning in any particularly emotive direction.
WordNet Search – 3.0. (n.d.). Retrieved February 2, 2011, from http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=neutral