Plantin Institute of Typography
Plantin Instituut voor Typograﬁe
For the first time John A. Lane will give his series of lectures about the history of printing types in English. The course will be taught in the classroom at the Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp, but international students can participate remotely via Zoom, synchronously (in real time).
These lectures discuss the influence of manuscript and engraved letterforms on the form of printing types from the introduction of European movable type to the digital era. They cover the work of the most important punchcutters and type designers from the earliest roman types (Nicholas Jenson, Francesco Griffo) to the late 20th century (Hermann Zapf, Adrian Frutiger).
Registration for the Expert class Type design is closed. We are setting up a waiting list, in case a place becomes available again. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please send an email.
The Expert class Type design will be given a mixed formula this year: we supplement our online lessons with an intensive four-day program in Antwerp, packed with face-to-face lessons, guest lectures, study visits and social activities. The online lessons are undoubtedly attractive for our international students who will save a lot of travel and hotel costs. Thanks to the four days in Antwerp (8–11 November 2021) the students will get to know each other better, while learning about the unique collection of punches and matrices that are preserved in the Plantin-Moretus Museum.
The structure of the course stays the same. However, taking the course online implies that research in the reading room of Museum Plantin-Moretus is not possible. To get around this, students will receive high-quality photos and scans of punches, smoke proofs, matrices, and prints from the museum’s large collection.
The Expert class Type design 2021–22 course consists of nine online sessions given between October and April, and a four-day program with lectures and study visits to different locations in Antwerp (Belgium). The aim of the course is to help students explore and analyze the historical and technical (production) aspects of type and typography, to teach them how to design type in detail, to help them develop an in-depth understanding of the digital font-production process, and to support them in gaining 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 must collaborate. The revival is always based on unique historical material from the renowned collection of the Museum Plantin-Moretus. In addition to participating in the revival project, each student must personally design a new typeface, whether it be from scratch or a revival that is, for example, also based on material from the museum’s collection. The course is concluded with an exhibition that takes place annually in the museum (July and August 2022).
This course is taught by type designer, font producer, software developer, and Senior Lecturer Dr. Frank E. Blokland.
Museum Plantin-Moretus, until Saturday July 31, 2021.
From April 17 to July 31, 2021, the annual exhibition In Plantin’s footsteps will take place in the illustrious Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp. Laureates of the Expert classes Type and Book design (acronyms: EcTd and EcBd respectively) will present the results of their intensive studies.
The emphasis in the EcTd course is on research into the intrinsic patterning aspects in historical type, which are as much the source as the result of typographic conventions. Information about Renaissance standardization and unitization is distilled from artifacts, such as punches, matrices, foundry type, and prints. The outcomes are extrapolated and translated into a systematized approach to digital font production. This includes matters like the parameterization of spacing and kerning, and the automation of font-generation processes.
In this video:
Anna Damoli and Eugene Yukechev take the audience by the hand and walk them through this unfamiliar territory for many working with fonts and typography. While it may not be necessary for reproduction, research into Renaissance standardization and systematization can provide a deeper insight into the intrinsic structure of (unconsciously) reproduced historical frameworks. Information hidden at first glance can support a more authentic interpretation of the source models in question, and the distilled patterns can be used to further master the harmonic and rhythmic aspects of type in today’s digital font-production environment.
The Renaissance Type Systematization and Digital Frameworks video was initially created by Anna and Eugene for the ATypI ‘All Over’ online conference, which took place at the end of October 2020.