The third edition of ISType 2013 took place under the theme Stroke, which took much inspiration from Gerrit Noordzij’s celebrated book The Stroke: Theory of Writing. The theme was approached in the manner of ‘human mark’ and as the simplest base for human communication.
Our keynote speaker of the event, prolific writer and poet, Robert Bringhurst, took us on a journey through the meaning of gesture and stroke with his talk, The Shape of Thought, the Shape of Vision. Following Bringhurst, eight speakers presented their research and work covering topics such as Japanese vernacular script, type hinting and its artistic and technical problems, the occurrence of metal script typefaces, and issues of Arabic type design.
Additionally we had five separate workshops focused on various aspects. The Istanbul adage of being a bridge between the West and the East manifested with the inclusion of Massimo Polello’s The Origin of the Serif workshop and Savaş Çevik’s Ottoman calligraphy workshop. The co-existence of such paradigms not only enriched the scope of the event but also created a genuine dialog between the Western and Eastern conventions of calligraphy. More contemporary type design issues were tackled in Erik van Blokland’s workshop where he introduced his type-cooker method for practical letter drawing. Thomas Milo and Mirjam Somers presented solutions for the many challenges posed by Arabic typographic design. Lastly, Glyphs software guru Rainer Scheichelbauer demonstrated the Glyphs application, gave tips and showed more efficient ways to draw digital letterforms.
ISType 2013 ended with a special event by screening the Turkey premiere of the movie Sign Painters. This vibrant and colorful documentary complemented the theme of the conference by covering a broad range of sign painter’s performance on brush strokes.