Week 01: From calligraphy to humanistic lettershapes

Week One Summary

TypeParis is off to a great start!

On Monday, 20th June 2016, the TypeParis students arrived at ECV and were greeted by the primary program instructor Jean François, and later Julien Priez & Mathieu Réguer. They were given their name tags, their swag bags full of goodies, and got to know one another a little before getting straight into their first day of learning.

The first week was an introduction to type design concepts through calligraphy. The group deconstructed the calligraphic alphabet and identified the key strokes. This lead to reconstructing the humanist alphabet in a modular fashion, leveraging the power of tracing paper to work and rework the shapes.

After a great session with Julien & Jean François, the group went out to La Mosquée to continue talking about type design over a delicious lunch.

Julien & Mathieu used a new method to help the students understand structure and modularity – pulling the letters apart and manually reconstructing them helping the students see the relationship between similar letters and forms. See photos below.

Wednesdays are always exciting, with the TypeParis Talks being held at Le Tank, a co-working space in Bastille, Paris, and having the first special guest critic Indra Kupferschmid visit the classroom for the day. Each special guest critic spends time time with the students to learn about their projects and provide individual feedback. She had excellent insights into the way we think about and classify type, and encouraged us to come up with ways our typefaces could solve a problem, rather than just take up space. It was quite funny to have her sit down at your desk and ask: “So what’s your problem?”. Click here to read more about the TypeParis Talks, and watch the videos of the talks themselves.

Julien, Mathieu, and Jean François were able to have in-depth conversations with each of the students about their concepts for their personal typeface, and help them over the week develop this into a suitable and realistic project to be undertaken over the five weeks they have at TypeParis.

Trip to the Bibliothèque nationale de France

Friday was an inspiring day, involving a trip to the Bibliothèque nationale de France to see a collection of rare books containing beautiful type specimens. The group also visited the Typofonderie library, to help come up with and refine their for their typeface projects. Finally, the garden party on Sunday was a wonderful way to finish the week and eat, drink and chat together.

It has been an honour to get to know this year’s students, they are all so friendly and open. There are some interesting ideas for briefs emerging, and I’m looking forward to seeing these ideas develop into a final product over the coming weeks.

— By Dave Coleman

Learn more about TypeParis courses and conferences!

Type & graphic designers interviews
Attendees feedback series

Apply to TypeParis Summer course!
The deadline for applications is 14 March, every year.


Thanks to Adobe and Adobe Fonts to be our platinum sponsors since 2015.
June 28, 2016
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