Typefaces and textual information in general, despite their crucial importance to our culture and development, are often neglected when it comes to visual communication and graphic design. This problem is particularly acute in the Central European, post-communist environment. TypeTalks is an independent, non-commercial project by Reading alumnus David Březina and some of his students from the Studio of graphic design, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Technology, Brno. This collaborative activity was designed to raise awareness of the power of typeface design and typography among both graphic design professionals and students.
The first public event TypeTalks are organizing is the TypeTalks symposium. The one-day symposium will take place in Brno, Czech Republic in the House of the Lords of Kunštát on 21 June 2010 at 10:12.
The theme of this conference is type. This is a broad area embracing the history of type, the design of type, type education, the use of type (typography) and much more. The key criteria for the acceptance of a talk is that it have educational value. It is not enough to simply show work, knowledge must be shared as well. Indeed, TypeTalks’ reason for existing is the pleasure taken in learning and in sharing knowledge. Furthermore, we have excellent speakers this year!
Each talk will be around 40 minutes with space for discussion afterwards. The talks will be given either in English or in Czech as noted below. There will not be any translation provided. The programme is subject to change.
Florian Hardwig (D) | Localize! The dialects of handwriting in type design
The talk will be in English.
What makes a letter form feel Italian – or German? Florian Hardwig explores local preferences for shaping (Latin) letters and how these are rooted in the respective handwriting and lettering tradition. How do contemporary type designers and graphic artists make use of these distinctive vernacular forms for script fonts or lettering work?
Florian Hardwig is a graphic designer based in Berlin, Germany, where he runs a studio together with Malte Kaune. Since 2007, he has been teaching Typography at Brunswick School of Art. Florian can frequently be found on Typophile, where is one of the moderators of the Type ID Board. School scripts are Florian’s area of expertise. In his Manuscribe project, he researches the various handwriting models that are used for teaching children how to write.
Rob Keller (US/D) | Font technology is crazy!
The talk will be in English.
Letters and typesetting have gone through several major shifts in the last few thousand years. These various changes have seriously affected letter forms, type design, and typography in many regards. In the best cases, these advances have corrected the shortcomings of past technologies while expanding typographic and linguistic possibilities. Other times, they have trampled on traditions, crippled entire writing systems, and lowered typographic standards. For better or worse, font technology is still evolving…
Rob Keller (b. 1981) is a typeface designer from the corn/soybean fields of Illinois. He developed a strong interest in typography while studying graphic design and sculpture at the University of Illinois. This passion lead him to the University of Reading for the MA in Typeface Design program. Following that intense year, he moved to Germany to work at Linotype – where he met his future wife, Sonja. In 2009 they opened the typefoundry Mota Italic in Berlin together. Here they are currently developing extensive new type families – with a focus on fonts with wide language support and multiple scripts.
Michael Hochleitner (AT) | A contemporary view on the relationship of lettering and type
The talk will be in English.
What is the difference between lettering and type? What are the advantages of each and what is the relationship of both in its contemporary usage?
Michael Hochleitner was born and lives in Vienna, Austria. He studied graphic design and communication design in Vienna for five years, finished with diploma in 2003. After one year of civil service for his country he studied media science in Vienna, while driving a cab for money. Michael worked as a freelance graphic designer from 2004 to 2007. In 2007 he completed his MA in Typeface Design with distinction at the University of Reading (UK), where she started the typeface Ingeborg, which won a TDC Certificate of Excellence in Type Design. In 2008 he founded Typejockeys together with Anna Fahrmaier and Thomas Gabriel.
Tomáš Brousil (CZ) | Tabac
The talk will be in Czech.
Tomáš Brousil will talk about how the specific demands of newspaper and magazine typography inspired the design of a new, huge type system. His so-far-unpublished type family Tabac, in its serif variant, includes 96 weights and an unusual concept of type grades.
Tomáš Brousil (b. 1975, Nitra) is educated as an aircraft mechanic. In 2002, he studied Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague where he is now an assistant in the Studio of Typography. In 2003, he set up the Suitcase Type Foundry which offers more than 200 weights of original typefaces. He has received the following awards: TDC Certificate of Excellence in Type Design (2008), main prize in Typeface design, Brno (2008), nomination for the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany 2009, German Design Council, Frankfurt (2008), Gold award and the Jury prize at ED-Awards (2009).
Dan Reynolds (US/D) | The passion of the young, multi-script type designer
The talk will be in English.
Many young type designers work with multiple scripts. They choose this kind of work for its challenges; designers draw type because letters drive them. After close inspection, elements of other writing systems seem not so different from our own. Learning other sets of rules, customs and histories lead to more opportunities to better understand the essence of type. No matter if one fears the results, questions, or respects them, the multitude of non-Latin scripts acts as a mirror for the depth of a type designer’s passion for letters. Whether one draws Latin, Cyrillic, or Devanagari letters is unimportant; making type happen is the key.
Berlin-based Dan Reynolds is a font engineer & typographic specialist at Linotype GmbH, as well as an instructor at the Hochschule Darmstadt. During his first visit to Mainz, Dan decided to become a type designer; after completing a BFA in graphic design at RISD, he moved to Europe for good. With four other students from the HfG Offenbach, he co-founded the Offenbach Typostammtisch in 2004. Dan holds an MA in Typeface Design with distinction from the University of Reading, where he was part of the MATD class of 2008. Malabar, Dan’s most recent typeface, received a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design from TDC, silver at ED-Awards 2009, and one of five nationwide gold medals in the Federal Republic of Germany’s 2010 design prize competition.
Veronika Burian (CZ/D) | Typographic matchmaking
The talk will be most likely in English.
When starting a new project, one of the many tasks a designer encounters, is the selection of typefaces. Recognising the combined effect of typefaces is crucial. In this context, some of the important questions are: what typographic style transmits the message best, what typefaces work well together for the particular task, what character-set and how many weights are needed, and finally, what functions are the typefaces expected to perform. This presentation deals with such fundamental issues and offers guidance on how to approach the delicate matter of love and hate relationships that often exist between typefaces. The discussion is illustrated with examples of “typographic couples”, both good and bad.
Veronika Burian, born in Prague, got her first degree in Industrial Design in Munich, Germany. Discovering her true passion for type, she graduated with distinction from the MA in Typeface Design in Reading, UK, in 2003 and started to work as full-time type designer at Dalton Maag in South London until 2007. She is now living and working in Prague and dedicates her time fully to TypeTogether, an independent type foundry that she co-founded with José Scaglione. Her typeface Maiola received the TDC Certificate of Excellence in Type Design 2004. Karmina and Bree, two collaborative typefaces from TypeTogether, also won a merit at the ED-Awards competition 2007 and 2009.
It is no accident that TypeTalks symposium is happening one day before the opening of the 24th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno 2010 and two days before the Biennial symposium starts. By this cunning plan the organisers hope to attract more participants to come and enjoy typography, graphic design, as well as the city of Brno. As they explain:
We do not want to compete, we want to complement.
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