In the exquisite setting of the Museum Plantin-Moretus the Inside/Outside
exhibition, organized by the Plantin Institute of Typography, was opened on Saturday 17 May 2014. The exhibition comprises work of students who successfully ﬁnished the Expert class Type design
(EcTd) 2012–2013 course, and a preview of the ongoing projects of the current 2013–2014 course. This is the third consecutive EcTd exhibition at the Museum Plantin-Moretus and the ﬁrst one that is combined with the Expert class Book design (EcBd) course.
On behalf of the board of the Plantin Institute of Typography, vice-president and lecturer Marc Mombaerts underlined the uniqueness of the educational program offered by the institute. Also he emphasized the importance of the cooperation with the Museum Plantin-Moretus and, of course, the support by the sponsors (for instance the printing of the exhibition panels by Agfa) . EcBd lecturer and awarded Belgium typographer Antoon De Vylder spoke about the book design projects and praised the enthusiasm of the students who he and his colleague Paul Verrept guide.
As lecturer and author of the EcTd program I underlined the importance of an in-depth course that combines theoretical insights and historical backgrounds with technical knowledge and practical skills in a time in which the production and distribution of fonts is far from exclusive anymore. I mentioned that when I started to design type for a living in the ﬁrst half of the 1980s, people reacted surprised when I told them what my profession was. ‘Wow, a type designer; what is that?’ Today people react with ‘well, who isn’t a type designer’. Almost everyone seems to design type nowadays, helped by the fact that computers and font tools don’t cost much anymore and, regrettably, ‘type design’ has been made easier than ever before because it is simple to open and tweak existing font data (although this is often not allowed by the EULA’s). Fonts are offered even for free, because for instance of diverging earning models.
One could raise the question why one should bother to design and tediously develop type from scratch when fonts seem to have lost value. I made a comparison with wine in my talk: more wine is produced than ever before and a lot of (inferior) wine is for sale for a very small price. But there is also a higher demand for great wines, i.e., the Grand Cru Classés
. So, IMHO there will remain a market for well-made fonts that add high value to the trade.
The Expert class Type design student’s sprouting ‘Grand Cru Classés’ shown at the exhibition proof the importance of education targeted at enhancing skills and knowledge. The course comprises ten lessons (under the roof of the Museum Plantin-Moretus) in a period of roughly three quarters of a year, and it requires a lot of hard work from the students in between the lessons. The EcTd course forms a good alternative for people who don’t have the time nor the opportunity to follow the Type & Media master course at the KABK or the type course in Reading. In some cases students who successfully ﬁnished master courses in type design also join the EcTd one; in the past three years three type masters from Reading did this actually.
The photo’s presented here give an impression of the relatively small, but very informative Inside/Outside
More related info can be found here