Categories
briefs

Font Collections

In this assignment, students are asked to create a “Font Collection”: a selection of typefaces related through some concept.

I carried out this assignment during an afternoon (3 hours) in November 2016, at Eracom, Lausanne.

The original project brief can be found here (in French). In short:

Concrètement, chaque groupe aura comme mission de:

  • Sélectionner un ensemble de 10 fontes.
  • Donner un titre à cet ensemble (par exemple: “Ultimate Monospace Type Collection”, “Grotesques et Arabesques”, “Fermentation Belge”, etc). Approchez la chose comme si vous deviez constituer une compilation de musique, une mixtape…
  • Créer un graphique servant de “pochette” à sa collection.
  • Créer un dossier qui contient les fontes (format TTF ou OTF), la pochette (format PNG), et un fichier README.MD avec la liste des 10 fontes, leurs sources, leurs auteurs.
  • Publier la collection sur GitHub.

The results are presented on this site: https://eracom-gr451.github.io/font-collections/

Categories
briefs

specimen books

Source: original brief by Manuel Schmalstieg, February 2013.

Participants design a specimen book of typefaces. They select a number of interesting typefaces, and create specimen pages. The pages are assembled into a book, which may be published using a print-on-demand service.

Typical steps during this brief:

  • Define the scope of the book: What type of typefaces are to be chosen? How many pages will be produced by each participant? What will be the sample text?
  • Create a specimen template that will be used by each participant. Each student should design a template, and during a critical session one of the template is chosen.
  • Once the template is defined, the students can begin to create the specimens.
  • In addition to the template-based specimens, each students should design a few pages of freeform, individual specimens where they can to break all rules and display the fonts in unexpected ways.
  • To finish the book, some more things must be designed: cover page, backcover, introduction pages, index.

Bibliography: to give the students a frame of reference and inspiration, it’s a good idea to show them some specimen books. Maybe your school has some of them in the library. A few examples: specimen books by designers (Jean-Baptiste Levée, Radim Pesko), the iPad app of FontFont, the Free Font Index, books by Fred Smeijers…

2 reports for specimen books

#1 – L’Eve future – HEAD Geneva

First implementation of the “Specimen Books” workshop.
Host institution: HEAD Geneva.
Instructor: Manuel Schmalstieg
Timeframe: 18-22 February 2013, five days (ca 40 hrs).
Students: 11.

#2 – Specimen Books: EAA La Chaux-de-Fonds

Second implementation of the “Specimen Books” workshop.

Host institution: EAA La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Instructor: Manuel Schmalstieg
Timeframe: May 2013, 5 half-day sessions (ca. 20 hrs).

Following the success of the first implementation at HEAD Geneva, I proposed a second iteration of that workshop concept to a class in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Participants: Olivier Borel, Patricia Monteiro, Anthony Bühler, Lori Droel, Emilie Mojon, Yannick Chautems, Marie Lechot, Quantin Perrenoud.

Some differences compared to the previous workshop:

– Instead of working with Adobe InDesign, students worked with open-source layout software Scribus.
– Instead of one common sample text, students chose a different text for each specimen. The concept: descriptions of films taken from french Wikipedia (the title of the film isn’t revealed).
– The workshop duration was 50% shorter: 20 hours (5 half-day sessions).

Final result: a PDF of 153 pages, gathering 79 specimens. The attempt to produce a print version failed due to time constraints.