A to the K: Computational Typography

Andy Simionato & Karen ann Donnachie

TUES 9:30AM-12:30PM, THURS 9:30AM-12.30PM
*See myTimetable for Room & Time

Studio Inquiry

In this studio you will explore computational typography as studio practice. Over the semester you will learn how to design and build a professional typeface that you can install and use with your existing design software-tools. Along the way we will explore the futures of typography by studying language and reading in a number of contexts, from ancient runes, to the Cypress Hill rap song from which our studio title is borrowed. In short, you will learn about computational typography, from A to the K ...to the Z.
Karen ann and Andy will lead an exploration through contemporary international type design. Their work has received the Tokyo Type Directors Club for 2019 and 2020, the Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing in 2020, and the Robert Coover Award for Electronic Literature (USA) in 2020.
Communication of knowledge
At the conclusion of the studio all student works will be published through a dedicated website and small book, and individually you will create your own typographic sampler.

Here is an award-winning example of a typographic sampler from Mike Kelly~~~>

You will expand your existing design practice by using open-source software like Fontforge to create your own custom-made typefaces.

You will be introduced to computational typography and electronic literature through a series of short, lively seminars on theories of language, reading and the futures of communication design after the internet.

Practical skills you will learn and practice in this studio will require you to download and use:
Inkscape (or Illustrator) for Typographic design
Fontforge for generating Mac and PC typefaces
Processing for creative coding

Karen ann will hold a weekly 'Hour of code' where you will also be introduced to Javascript, CSS, and HTML with a view to creating your own online typographic sampler. You do NOT require previous coding experience for this course.
The assessment tasks in this studio are designed to help you produce a number of original typographic fonts and designs:

1. A group project: contribute to a collaborative-typeface
2. A major individual project: custom-designed original typeface
3. An SKO: capturing all the theory and skills from the studio that were significant to you, including a reflective 'un-essay' on your personal research into generative, parametric, and computational typographic design.
Studio Partner
Communities of Practice
Design and the Post-Digital, Designing Publications, Designing Disobedience

Typographic design and font development requires patience and highly organised thinking. Designing a font can be time-consuming and the specialised software is not exactly 'user-friendly'!. If any of the above is a concern, then please choose a different studio. If instead you want to nerd-out on coding and typography, then the door is always open!

About Andy Simionato | About Karen ann Donnachie

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