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The Urge To RuleConstructed Letterforms from Antiquity to TomorrowOliver Linke | Differing Accents Conference, Prague 2012...
Construction or no construction?
Part One:What’s out there?
Digital »standard« outlines
Jürg Lehni / François Rappo: Font creation software »Calligrapher«, 2006
Sarah Kläy: Type design from pixel to outline, 2006
Fred Smeijers: Quadraat Italic, 2000
Fred Smeijers: Quadraat Italic, 2000
a)	 Sabon letterpress print (Jan Tschichold, 1965),b)	 First PostScript version (Linotype Library, 1985)c)	 Sabon Next (Je...
Chris Holmes / Charles Bigelow: Chicago Outline, 1989 (Susan Kare: Pixels, 1983)
DIN Mittelschrift    version from 1980      FF DIN Medium Albert-Jan Pool, 1995DIN-Schriften, 1980 and 1995
Ludwig Goller: Correction sheet for DIN Mittelschrift, 1931
Eric Gill: Sketch for Gill Sans, 1933 and digital Version
Daniel Duvillé: »L’Art du tracé rationnel«, 1931
Daniel Duvillé: »L’Art du tracé rationnel«, 1931
Jan Tschichold: Announcement for »Blockschrift«, 1930
Jan Tschichold: Sanserif design for Deberny & Peignot, c. 1929
Friedrich Kiesler: poster lettering, 1924
Camillo Sitte: »The Capitals of the Renaissance«, 1882
Drawings for the »Romain du Roi«, ca. 1692
Johann Neudörffer, ca. 1549–1553
Johann Neudörffer, ca. 1549–1553
Feliciano	    Moyllus	       Pacioli	        de Fanti	        Torniello	       Dürer	   Verinica. 1460	     ca. 1480	     ...
Albrecht Dürer, 1525
Sigismondo de Fanti, 1514
Sigismondo de Fanti, 1514
Hartmann Schedel, 1498–1507
»Libellus de arte scripturari«, 15th century (Paris, BN Ms. lat. 8686)
Bible, 2nd half 9th century (Paris, BN Ms. lat. 2290, fol. 19)
Manuscript, 2nd half 8th century (Cologne, Dombibliothek, Cod. 210)
And the Romans?
»Hekatompedon inscription«, Greek classical period, ca. 485 B. C.
Classical Greek and Phoenician
»Phoenician script slopes forward with ascenders and descenders; it looks rapid and business-like, orderly but not beautif...
Part Two:Recapitulation.In which circumstanceswere constructions helpful?
– To give it a scientific statusReasons for the use of geometric / constructive methods in type design
– To give it a scientific status                     – As an explanation for studentsReasons for the use of geometric / co...
– To give it a scientific status                     – As an explanation for students                     – For easy repro...
– To give it a scientific status                     – As an explanation for students                     – For easy repro...
– To give it a scientific status                     – As an explanation for students                     – For easy repro...
– To give it a scientific status                     – As an explanation for students                     – For easy repro...
– To give it a scientific status                     – As an explanation for students                     – For easy repro...
– To give it a scientific status                     – As an explanation for students                     – For easy repro...
Part Three:Construction is helpful.So what’s the problem then?
Optical illusions
Optical illusions
Optical illusions
S-Bahn signs in Germany
Karen Cheng: »Designing Type«, Suggested construction of the S
Adjustments to the construction of Cheng
Different shapes of the skeleton
Different shapes of the skeleton
Skeleton of Steve Mattesons Massif Pro (2012)
Different shapes of the skeleton
freeform	– constructive	  oldstyle	– modernstyle	 aesthetic	– theoretic	   human 	 machine made            –	  dynamic 	 s...
Phoenician to Greek                                    Greek to Roman                                    Roman to Caroling...
ConclusionsFive things to remember
1Type design is alwaysa walk between geometryand free form.Conclusions
2Geometry can be very helpfulto find a general proportional systemand to control rhythm.Conclusions
3The amount of geometryalters the soulof your type design.Conclusions
4Within the boundaries of rules,only variations are possiblebut nothing new.Conclusions
5Evolution proceedswhen »defects« occur,that are beyond the rules.Conclusions
Thank you!	linke@lazydogs.de
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The Urge To Rule

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This talk focuses on the role of geometry in typeface design – during history and what we can learn from this today.
Differing Accents Conference, Prague College, 2012

The Urge To Rule

  1. 1. The Urge To RuleConstructed Letterforms from Antiquity to TomorrowOliver Linke | Differing Accents Conference, Prague 2012Please respect that all parts of this presentation subject to copyrigh lawand may not be copied or reused for any further purpose without permission.For any requests on usage please contact linke@lazydogs.de
  2. 2. Construction or no construction?
  3. 3. Part One:What’s out there?
  4. 4. Digital »standard« outlines
  5. 5. Jürg Lehni / François Rappo: Font creation software »Calligrapher«, 2006
  6. 6. Sarah Kläy: Type design from pixel to outline, 2006
  7. 7. Fred Smeijers: Quadraat Italic, 2000
  8. 8. Fred Smeijers: Quadraat Italic, 2000
  9. 9. a) Sabon letterpress print (Jan Tschichold, 1965),b) First PostScript version (Linotype Library, 1985)c) Sabon Next (Jean François Porchez, 2002)Sabon in different versions
  10. 10. Chris Holmes / Charles Bigelow: Chicago Outline, 1989 (Susan Kare: Pixels, 1983)
  11. 11. DIN Mittelschrift version from 1980 FF DIN Medium Albert-Jan Pool, 1995DIN-Schriften, 1980 and 1995
  12. 12. Ludwig Goller: Correction sheet for DIN Mittelschrift, 1931
  13. 13. Eric Gill: Sketch for Gill Sans, 1933 and digital Version
  14. 14. Daniel Duvillé: »L’Art du tracé rationnel«, 1931
  15. 15. Daniel Duvillé: »L’Art du tracé rationnel«, 1931
  16. 16. Jan Tschichold: Announcement for »Blockschrift«, 1930
  17. 17. Jan Tschichold: Sanserif design for Deberny & Peignot, c. 1929
  18. 18. Friedrich Kiesler: poster lettering, 1924
  19. 19. Camillo Sitte: »The Capitals of the Renaissance«, 1882
  20. 20. Drawings for the »Romain du Roi«, ca. 1692
  21. 21. Johann Neudörffer, ca. 1549–1553
  22. 22. Johann Neudörffer, ca. 1549–1553
  23. 23. Feliciano Moyllus Pacioli de Fanti Torniello Dürer Verinica. 1460 ca. 1480 1509 1514 1517 1525 1527 Various constructions for the Roman capitals in the 15th/16th century
  24. 24. Albrecht Dürer, 1525
  25. 25. Sigismondo de Fanti, 1514
  26. 26. Sigismondo de Fanti, 1514
  27. 27. Hartmann Schedel, 1498–1507
  28. 28. »Libellus de arte scripturari«, 15th century (Paris, BN Ms. lat. 8686)
  29. 29. Bible, 2nd half 9th century (Paris, BN Ms. lat. 2290, fol. 19)
  30. 30. Manuscript, 2nd half 8th century (Cologne, Dombibliothek, Cod. 210)
  31. 31. And the Romans?
  32. 32. »Hekatompedon inscription«, Greek classical period, ca. 485 B. C.
  33. 33. Classical Greek and Phoenician
  34. 34. »Phoenician script slopes forward with ascenders and descenders; it looks rapid and business-like, orderly but not beautiful. The inscriptions of 5th century Athens are very ­ ifferent: they are constructed and arranged d g m ­ eo­ etrically, and they are beautiful.«Nicolete Gray: »A History of Lettering«, 1986
  35. 35. Part Two:Recapitulation.In which circumstanceswere constructions helpful?
  36. 36. – To give it a scientific statusReasons for the use of geometric / constructive methods in type design
  37. 37. – To give it a scientific status – As an explanation for studentsReasons for the use of geometric / constructive methods in type design
  38. 38. – To give it a scientific status – As an explanation for students – For easy reproduction and scalingReasons for the use of geometric / constructive methods in type design
  39. 39. – To give it a scientific status – As an explanation for students – For easy reproduction and scaling – To suit a certain output device (e. g. screen)Reasons for the use of geometric / constructive methods in type design
  40. 40. – To give it a scientific status – As an explanation for students – For easy reproduction and scaling – To suit a certain output device (e. g. screen) – To save time (in the working process)Reasons for the use of geometric / constructive methods in type design
  41. 41. – To give it a scientific status – As an explanation for students – For easy reproduction and scaling – To suit a certain output device (e. g. screen) – To save time (in the working process) – To control rhythm (black and white spaces)Reasons for the use of geometric / constructive methods in type design
  42. 42. – To give it a scientific status – As an explanation for students – For easy reproduction and scaling – To suit a certain output device (e. g. screen) – To save time (in the working process) – To control rhythm (black and white spaces) – For aesthetic demandsReasons for the use of geometric / constructive methods in type design
  43. 43. – To give it a scientific status – As an explanation for students – For easy reproduction and scaling – To suit a certain output device (e. g. screen) – To save time (in the working process) – To control rhythm (black and white spaces) – For aesthetic demands – To simplify (ease recognition)Reasons for the use of geometric / constructive methods in type design
  44. 44. Part Three:Construction is helpful.So what’s the problem then?
  45. 45. Optical illusions
  46. 46. Optical illusions
  47. 47. Optical illusions
  48. 48. S-Bahn signs in Germany
  49. 49. Karen Cheng: »Designing Type«, Suggested construction of the S
  50. 50. Adjustments to the construction of Cheng
  51. 51. Different shapes of the skeleton
  52. 52. Different shapes of the skeleton
  53. 53. Skeleton of Steve Mattesons Massif Pro (2012)
  54. 54. Different shapes of the skeleton
  55. 55. freeform – constructive oldstyle – modernstyle aesthetic – theoretic human machine made – dynamic static – female male – warm cool – …Construction will affect the soul of a typeface
  56. 56. Phoenician to Greek Greek to Roman Roman to Carolingian Carolingian to Gothic Gothic to Renaissance Northern to southern Renaissance Oldstyle to Modern StyleEvolution of geometry versus freeform: a perpetual oscillation
  57. 57. ConclusionsFive things to remember
  58. 58. 1Type design is alwaysa walk between geometryand free form.Conclusions
  59. 59. 2Geometry can be very helpfulto find a general proportional systemand to control rhythm.Conclusions
  60. 60. 3The amount of geometryalters the soulof your type design.Conclusions
  61. 61. 4Within the boundaries of rules,only variations are possiblebut nothing new.Conclusions
  62. 62. 5Evolution proceedswhen »defects« occur,that are beyond the rules.Conclusions
  63. 63. Thank you! linke@lazydogs.de

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