Students Expert class Type design


The auditorium

In de sporen van Plantin

Exhibition ‘In de sporen van Plantin’

Dr. Frank E. Blokland

Frank E. Blokland


Exhibition ‘In de sporen van Plantin’


Sketches Expert Class Type Design


Jo De Baerdemaeker


Academische Zitting 2017

Summerschool Indesign

Summerschool Indesign 2017


Martin Majoor


Type specimen of Nebiolo (Turin)


From our library


Sketches Expert Class Type Design


Open Day 2017


TypoCard, quote Eric Gill


Sketches Expert class Type design


Exhibition ‘In de sporen van Plantin’


Academische Zitting


Academische Zitting


Sketches Expert Class Type Design


Lecture by Erik van Blokland, Academische Zitting


Sketches Expert class Type design


Sketches Expert class Type design


Sketches Expert class Type design


Lecture by Irma Boom


Lecture by Albert-Jan Pool


Sketches Expert class Type design


Sketches Expert class Type design


Jo De Baerdemaeker, Open Day, 2017


Academische zitting 2017




Sketches Expert Class Type Design

Vrijdagmarkt museum Plantin-Moretus

The museum Plantin-Moretus in the winter


Expert class Type design

The Expert class Type design course comprises ten lessons in the auditorium of the Museum Plantin-Moretus over a period of roughly three quarters of a year. The purpose of the course is to facilitate students’ exploration and analyzation of the historical and technical (production) aspects of type and typography, to teach them how to design type into detail, to help them to develop an in-depth insight in the process of digital font production, and to support them to gain control over related software.

An important aspect of the course is the direct exchange of knowledge and experience between the students. This exchange is stimulated by a type-revival project on which the students have to work together. The revival is always based on unique historical material from the renowned collection of the Museum Plantin-Moretus. Besides taking part in the revival project, each student personally has to design a new typeface, whether completely from scratch or being a revival that, for example, is also based on material from the museum’s collection. The course culminates in an exhibition that yearly takes place at the Museum Plantin-Moretus, or occasionally at an exquisite location elsewhere in Belgium or the Netherlands.

This course is taught by type designer, font producer, software developer, and Senior Lecturer Dr. Frank E. Blokland.

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Antwerp Summer University

A lot of interest in our new Typography summer school

Summer school with Dr. Frank E. Blokland, Jan Dries, Guy Hutsebaut, Dr. Goran Proot, Lara Captan, Walda Verbaenen, Dr. Wouter Soudan and Patrick Goossens.

From 2 to 6 September 2019, the Plantin Institute of Typography and the University of Antwerp organize  an international summer school on ‘critical approaches to typography’.  The detailed program and application form are available at  www.uantwerp.be/typography-summerschool.

Already 14 students applied for this programme. They come from all over the world: Canada, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Spain, Norway, UK, the Netherlands and Belgium. The application period is extended till 10 July 2019 to give more students the opportunity to enrol. A maximum of 20 participants will be accepted. The registration fee of 600 euro includes, besides the course material (software and printed matter), a welcome drink, coffee breaks, and the farewell diner. The fee does not include housing.

As you know the rise of desktop  publishing in the second half of the 1980s changed the graphic  landscape completely. Within a decade the highly specialized métiers of the typesetter and typographer were merged in that of the  computerized graphic designer, irrespective of whether macOS, Windows,  or Linux is used. Together with these operating systems came an  increasing number of fonts and today everyone is a typesetter by  definition. However, not everyone is automatically a typographer too,  because typography requires specialist knowledge and insight. New  terms as ‘macro-’ and ‘micro-typography’ have become popular nowadays,  but they are only synonyms for typesetting and typography respectively.

All present-day graphic designers are ‘macro-typographers’, but not too many are also ‘micro-typographers’. Hence, not all of them will be  able to give the answers to questions about, for example, what forms  the basis for the patterning in type, or on what exactly typographic  conventions are based. In the meantime digital typefaces are becoming  more and more advanced and sophisticated. After all, OpenType Layout  features will mostly automatically insert and adjust all kind of  detailed (and technically complex) matters, such as ligature  substitutions, the application of contextual alternates, related  positioning of diacritics, et cetera. For this, in the past the  typographer had to write detailed instructions for the typesetter.  However, to be able to judge and consequently handle the advanced  digital outcomes, a deep understanding of what exactly typography  comprises, remains required.

During the Typography Summer Course at the University of Antwerp, the  fundamental aspects of typography are researched. Since the end of the  1990s Dr. Frank E. Blokland, our senior lecturer, is deeply involved in the development of high-end font tools. Some of these tools,  like OTMaster, will be used at the course for a more detailed look at  digital-font technology. However, one does not have to be technically  savvy at all for this. Furthermore, not only technical but also  optical aspects will be investigated, as well as the (historical)  origin of typefaces, the type designers in question, and in case of  revivals, the (interpretation of the) style periods in which the  original typefaces were made.

In collaboration with the University of Antwerp and the Museum Plantin-Moretus
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