summer school: critical approaches to typography

Critical approaches to typography

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.

Intensive 5-day programme on the value of research for a better understanding of type and typography

Stadscampus, University of Antwerp, Prinstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

2-6 September 2019

Bachelor, Master, Professionals.
No specific expertise in the field of type design is required, nor any knowledge of the development of historical type and typography.

External partners
Museum Plantin-Moretus and Plantin Institute of Typography

Course description
Today everyone who uses a computer is practically a typesetter and typography is no specialism anymore. Conventions are automatically maintained because practitioners of typography – professionals and amateurs – base their typographical decisions on what is common. The legibility aspect seems easy to control by selecting type that is considered common, without knowing what legibility exactly comprises.

Art historian Ernst Gombrich notes that the stimulus patterns on the retina are not alone in determining our picture of the visual world, and that its messages are modified by what we know about the ‘real’ shape of objects. In other words: ‘One cannot see more than one knows’. But what exactly do we know of type and typography?

This summer school will discuss the value of research for typography. The keywords are ‘Perception’, ‘History’, ‘Convention’, ‘Technology’ and ‘Legibility’. Answers to the research questions will be distilled from the study of artifacts in the collection of the famous Museum Plantin-Moretus. After all, the typographical conventions were set during the Renaissance. At the same time we will study how font technology has developed since the 1970s, and look at what became technically possible, in Latin and non-Latin scripts

3 ECTS credits will be awarded upon writing a paper with answers to the five research questions, an evaluation of the programme and a personal reflection on the five keywords.

Registration fee
€ 600

Fee includes course material, coffee breaks, farewell dinner, several excursion and social activities.
Does not include lunch or accommodation.

University of Antwerp students are entitled to a refund of €150 after completion of the summer school.
Alumni and students of the Plantin Institute of Typography pay only 540 euro.

Application details
Online through the website of the University of Antwerp, Mobility Online, before 10 July 2019.