Expert class Type design 2014 exhibition

From 17 May till 31 August 2014 projects of the Expert class Type design (EcTd) students will be exhibited at the Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp. The EcTd course is offered by the Plantin Institute of Typography, which operates under the umbrella of the renown Plantin Society. The exhibition comprises work of students who successfully finished the 2012–2013 course and a preview of the ongoing projects of the current 2013–2014 course. This is the third consecutive EcTd exhibition at the Museum Plantin-Moretus and the first one that is combined with the Expert class Book design course.

The displayed projects are as diverse as the students, of which many have finished (multiple) bachelor or master studies in graphic design or in related subjects, and who all share a fascination for type (design) and typography. The subjects vary from an in-depth study of a renaissance typeface produced by Geraert van der Leye (latinised into Gerardus de Lisa when he moved to Italy) in the fifteenth century, resulting in a revival that clearly deviates from the ‘Jenson-Griffo’ ones, to the development of a completely new present-day typeface.

In between a revival is made based on punches, matrices and type of Robert Granjon in the collection of the Musem Plantin-Moretus, a technically and aesthetically impressive line-for-line redrawing of one of the cursive ‘hands’ of Jan van den Velde, a Dutch master-calligrapher from the seventeenth century, and typefaces based on writing with the broad-nibbed pen and flexible pointed pen are developed for for instance display purposes or for application in children books.

The EcTd course is a tough one, if only because the students have to combine the study with their daily work, which varies from graphic designing to lecturing. To investigate historic material, to explore the influence of writing tools on the shape, contrast and contrast-flow, to draw type based on the outcomes of the research and to test different font tools cost a lot of time and effort. The quality displayed at the exhibition is therefore even more impressive.

Having the EcTd course under the roof of what can be considered the ‘Holy Temple of type’, i.e., the Museum Plantin-Moretus, provides not only the best possible atmosphere but also the very unique opportunity to make direct use of the museum’s exquisite collection of punches, matrices, cast type and prints for research purposes and revival projects.

ferfolio_2's picture

Amazing works, would love to go to the exhibit (and to the EcTd)

blokland's picture

Jeroen Koning, who followed the EcTd 2012–2013 course, shows at the aforementioned exhibition the development of (DTL) VandenVelde, a digital version of the Espagnola Bastarda, which is a cursive ‘hand’ by Jan van den Velde (1568–1623). This is an extraordinary project, because instead of auto-tracing printed images from Spieghel der Schrijfkonste –an instruction book for calligraphers published by VdV in 1605– Jeroen is tracing the original letters line for line.

An example of this time-consuming method is Jeroen’s tracing of ‘the hand with the quill’, an illustration from Spieghel der Schrijfkonste, which is according to Jeroen ‘of unparalleled beauty’. This beauty was very well captured in the digital version (above and below).

For the redrawing Jeroen uses the ‘Width Tool’ in Adobe Illustrator CC, which makes it possible to fully control the contrast and contrast-flow of the curves.

Subsequently the resulting vector lines were converted to outline vectors, which can be further enhanced in a font tool.

The resulting digital type is becoming highly impressive, as can be seen in the preliminary version below.

blokland's picture

Midst November the Expert class Type design 2014–2015 course will start at the Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp. It’s possible to subscribe still.

The course results in type designs by the students, either completely new from scratch or a revival that for instance is based on the unique historic material from the collection of the Museum Plantin-Moretus. The typeface has to be presented in a booklet with an accompanying text on the process. Above and below is a small selection of this year’s harvest.

Martin Silvertant's picture

Very impressive. I hope to do a course like this some day.

What's the capital V in the last picture of your penultimate post for? It doesn't seem to go with any lowercase letter. Was it historically used like that?

Can more work be seen online? There are some very impressive designs here. I love the Geraert revival. I don't suppose it will become available as a typeface?

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