‘Grand Cru Classés’ sprouting from Antwerp soil

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  • A week ago Fernando Mello collected the ‘Original Typeface’ Gold trophy for FS Brabo at the 2016 ED-Awards’ ceremony in Vienna!


  • On Wednesday 16 November the Expert class Type design 2016–2017 course will start. The EcTd course comprises ten sessions at the Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp during a period of roughly eight months. In between the sessions the students are expected to work hard and dedicatedly on the teamwise revival project and the new personal type design. Subscription is possible until one week before the start of the course.

    In the course my research and resulting PhD dissertation on Renaissance type patterning, which I successfully defended at Leiden University on Tuesday 11 October 2016, play a major role. Because there is direct access to the Renaissance artefacts in the collection of the Museum Plantin-Moretus, this patterning can be easily tested and applied on (revivals of) historical type.

    See you in Antwerp!
  • I enjoyed a lot being a student at the Plantin Instituut's EcTd. It's the ideal place to learn about French and Flemish typographic cannons and a very inspiring setting. 
  • Yesterday evening the Inside/Outside 2016 exhibition of the Plantin Institute of Typography opened at Kades-Kaden in Antwerp. Kades-Kaden is the exhibition hall of the renowned design agency Catapult, where also the exhibition series Type An Sich takes place. This is the fifth consecutive EcTd exhibition and the third one that is combined with the expo of the Expert class Book design (EcBd) course.

    The Inside/Outside 2016 exhibition comprises the further developed type designs by the EcTd students who successfully finished the 2014–2015 course and a preview of the ongoing projects of the 2015–2016 laureates. The latter show their new, personal type-design projects besides the joined revival project, which is based on the Renaissance artefacts from the punchcutter Joos Lambrecht. These artefacts can be found in the wonderful collection of the Museum Plantin-Moretus and, as you all know, the course takes place at this fantastic museum!

    As in previous years, Agfa kindly sponsored the printing of the beautiful panels.












  • An updated EcTd course description is now available as PDF.


  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 85
    Now, this is a class I wish I could attend. This is right up my alley of interest.
  • Yesterday the seven EcTd students gave nice and interesting presentations on the process and progress of their personal projects. From Guyot to Tavernier, from Van den Keere to Dwiggins, and from civilité to nifty color fonts capturing the French-Renaissance patterning. Below you will find a small selection of photos taken at the cozy auditorium of the Museum Plantin-Moretus, where the EcTd sessions take place.








  • Although some TD-forum members have the opinion that being self-taught forms the best basis for a profession as type designer, there seems to be a growing group of enthusiasts who want to take advantage of the knowledge, skills, and insights of professional type designers at renowned institutes. As lecturer I am extremely proud to see Ramiro Espinoza’s nicely-cadensed Guyot Headline, of which the development started at the Expert class Type design of the Plantin Institute of Typography. As colleague I admire the result.
  • Did you mean to link to Hrant's post? While I am self-taught myself, I don't think it's better than a proper education (though I do believe it has some advantages along with the disadvantages).

    Guyot Headline looks fantastic!
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 636
    edited July 1
    Since I've been invoked :-) I should clarify:
    I don't believe being self-taught is the best basis for everybody; in the eternal words of Humpty Hump: "No two people will do it the same." However I do feel formal education can potentially stunt the proper development of one's original voice, detracting from overall cultural progress; this is especially true in an educational environment that doesn't harbor fruitful self-doubt... and self-doubt is not how formal education tends to be sold. For individual[ist]s whose priority is making a living at the thing, this is admittedly secondary.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 624
    However I do feel formal education can potentially stunt the proper development of one's original voice...
    Sorry if this is off topic a bit but I've experienced this and seen it happen to others in classical animation college. We got the Disney severely beaten into us. In my previous work, I could see a style developing and after graduation it was essentially erased. I've never been able to recapture it and to this day, my lines still have a sickly Bluth/Disney thing going on.

  • However I do feel formal education can potentially stunt the proper development of one's original voice […]
    In my previous work, I could see a style developing and after graduation it was essentially erased.
    Education as such should not be blamed if some tutors apply a sort of one-sided conditioning or perhaps even try to indoctrinate students. Of course, it is flattering for an educator if students embrace his/her ideas, but the primary task of education is to provide a solid foundation for further development and for enhanced reflection. For type design this means that education should result in technical skills combined with knowledge of the historical developments in the profession (including the changing esthetic preferences during the different style periods) together with insight in (the influence of) technology.

    By marking the historical and technological boundaries of the type designer’s profession and by stimulating a critical and analytical way of thinking, students should be able to find their own place in the profession and to develop their unique personal ‘hand’. Although craftsmanship formed and still forms the basis for the type designers’ metier and conventions define its boundaries, educators should always be careful that their training does not suppress the natural desire of designers to trespass IMHO.
  • For what it’s worth, Frank was formally my teacher in calligraphy at the KABK, and he’ll be the first to acknowledge that he isn’t to blame for whatever I’ve come to design ;)

    And that’s also a serious note. Dogmatic teaching can be very limiting, but in Frank’s class I never felt that the lessons were dogmatic. Frank is strict and has clear boundaries of good and bad – it can be tough to live up to those standards but they were nothing if not explicit. What I learned in proportion and rhythm took a few years to settle in, but I don’t think I ended up drawing ‘with the master’s hand’. Again, I’m sure all my old teachers will run far far away from that statement.
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