Mono is a series of
single-talk-lectures that are held between ISType conferences.
March 6, 2019
Type design: Tensions between dualities. And how to relax.
This talk aims at exploring some tensions that consciously or unconsciously underlie the type designer’s activity, such as: Ideal or real, continuous or discrete, neutral or expressive, traditional or innovative, and the like. The presentation will be properly sprinkled with a selection of letterforms images from both history and our times, including Alejandro’s personal views as well as his own work as type designer. Hopefully it all will be sprinkled with a woody wine too.
February 22, 2018
Of curvatures, straight lines and light: when is type not type?
That is the question, among some others, that one will try to answer during a presentation that talks, breathes and lives for type without displaying much letterforms. Jean-Baptiste Levée will evoke the fundamental notions of typeface design, such as rythm, harmony and light. He will encompass the essential but barely documented questions that animate the practice of contemporary type design, with the help of parallels traced with engineering, mathematics, conceptual art, and endurance sports.
May 28, 2016
Much of my work over the years has been devoted to text types with an emphasis on legibility. Text types, however, make rather dry and repetitive subjects for slide talks—only the most diehard typophile wants to look at endless slides of 9-point type.
For this talk I have chosen a few designs that are perhaps less typical of my work in general but which do have a more visual narrative in their backstory, in other words they are designs that make more interesting slides. They also illustrate the variety of ways by which new typefaces can come into existence.
The ﬁrst is Mantinia, a titling face inspired by the lettering in the paintings of the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna. Mantinia’s letterforms were also inﬂuenced by inscriptions on buildings and gravestones in and around Boston. Walker, designed for the identity of the Walker Art Center, tries to represent the Walker’s motto: “Open to interpretation.” The letterforms can be modiﬁed by the user depending on context.
A typeface commissioned for Yale University has two versions, one for print and the web, the other for signs on campus. The design derives from an ancient book in the library at Yale.
Van Lanen is a wood type. The Hamilton Wood Type Museum commissioned it for printing letterpress posters. It comes in two forms, positive and negative.
December 19, 2014
Divided by a Common Typeface
The Irish language is a fundamental term in the discourse of Irish national identity, yet its visual manifestation is often over looked. Through the course of the evening, Clare and Mary Ann will explore how the visual representation of one language can be ‘translated’ into another. They look at how typography enhances the symbolic utility of language as a conduit for myth, and for the demarcation of religious and cultural difference in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
May 2, 2014
What You Want Is Not What You Need
The talk is a journey through 20 years of personal and professional projects. The subjects covered range from the trouble caused naming a typeface after a serial killer, to the work for the designs on the secretly recorded album for David Bowie ‘The Next Day’. Barnbrook will also be showing his anti-advertising work and wide ranging political projects. The talk does not aim to explain ‘how’ but very much why, in a wider context of all society not just the world of graphic design.
December 19, 2014
From Handwriting to Type Design
Instant is a type family with no common distribution of roman, italic and their respective heavier or lighter fonts. Instead, a ‘diagonal’ has been adopted: from thin, informal, quick handwritten letters to stable, black typographic shapes. Each of the five styles correspond to a specific stroke speed and weight: Vivid, Quick, Regular, Slow, Heavy. Started as research project in 2005 at National Atelier for Typographic Research [ANRT, Atelier National de Recherche Typographique] France, hommage to the poet, painter and writer Henri Michaux (1899–1984), it questions type family consistency and the relation and usage of roman, italic and bold faces. The talk will go back to it’s genesis and drawing process as well as discussing type classification and fundamental aspects of letter constructions.