TDC Greek Week-end With Gerry Leonidas Next Week

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News | Yves Peters | October 26, 2012

Gerry Leonidas returns to the TDC to instruct a weekend-long Greek workshop, November 2-4. Since the first TDC Greek Week-end in 2007, the demand for new typefaces to cover the Greek script has grown dramatically. Pan-european character sets have become the minimum expectation for branding and corporate projects, and the migration of publishers to new print-on-demand and online viewing has spurned further development.


Gerry Leonidas critiquing specimens for the MA Typeface Design at the University of Reading, UK. @ Ben Mitchell

Job ads for typeface designers increasingly list the ability to design Greek as a requirement for senior posts. So, developing skills in Greek typeface design is good for your career. But there is another good reason to tackle Greek: balancing its variation in forms and low degree of modularity within a brief that may require a very even typographic texture presents a rewarding challenge to any designer. And, when there is room to extend the style, the calligraphic roots of the script present a wonderful opportunity for exploration and invention.


Claude Garamond’s grec-du-roi, 1575.

The TDC Greek Week-end will start with a hand-on session with rare original material, from Garamond’s grec-du-roi in a 1575 Estienne, to the Alexander Wilson’s Greek for the Foulis Press, to a reference 1832 Didot, to a selection of 20th century typefaces, culminating in a range of printed material from the last couple of years from Greece (newspapers, magazines, and flyers). The two weekend days will alternate presentations on Greek typography and typeface design targeted specifically to accomplished designers who want to extend their existing Latin typefaces. Gerry will give both letter-by-letter advice and paragraph-level comments.


Alexander Wilson’s Greek for the Foulis Press, 1790. © Alastair Johnston

Gerry Leonidas will also review some key recent Greek typefaces, and give direct feedback on typefaces submitted by the workshop participants. Seats are still available. TDC are offering non-members the same discount TDC members pay. It has been five years since the last time Gerry was here. Do not miss the opportunity to learn from the expert.

The night before the workshop, Gerry Leonidas will deliver a lecture at the TDC Salon on the design of a major forthcoming Greek-English lexicon by CUP. This Lexicon takes advantage of recent developments in typeface design, and offers insights into a particularly challenging typographic brief.


Gerry Leonidas lecturing in Jeffery Hall at TYPO London 2012 “Social”. Photo by Jason Chen

Gerry Leonidas started working at exactly the time desktop computers began to disrupt the design and printing industry, while gathering qualifications of mostly peripheral relevance. In 1994 he found a home in the Department of Typography at the University of Reading, England, where he teaches typography and typeface design. Since 2001 he has been running the MA Typeface Design programme, a model for the transformation of typographic studies world-wide. Gerry has been contributing to Greek typeface design projects for over fifteen years, with foundries of all sizes: Adobe, Bitstream, Farhill, Hoefler & Frere-Jones, Microsoft, Monotype, Rosetta, Jeremy Tankard Typography, Tiro Typeworks, and may others. His perspective is one of placing typography in a wider context, and helping develop in designers an understanding of the basic principles, and an insight into the potential for originality. He is frequently invited to speak, teach, and review the works of others.

Header image: Gerry Leonidas lecturing in Jeffery Hall at TYPO London 2012 “Social”. Photo by Jason Chen

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