Collaborative Type Design Workshops – without computers

(Photo Copyright © 2010 Pedro Amado. CC-BY-SA – Attribute him and ShareAlike)

At the LGM2010 I developed a collaborative type design workshop method with some of the wonderful OSP folks in Brussels – Alexandre Leray, Ludivine Loiseau, Pierre Marchand, Seb Sanfilippo and Stéphanie Vilayphiou.

This method works essentially without computers. While some technology is useful for quickly copying, it works fine with nothing more than pens and pencils. I believe this method will scale up to any sized group; the first workshop at LGM 2010 had about 40 people and worked well, and the workshops I ran at HackLaViva and in Vietnam had only 8 people and also worked well.

The method is simply described as this:

  1. We each draw a letter, in 3 minutes, about 7cm tall
  2. We places all the papers together (on a big table, wall, floor)
  3. We discuss the results
  4. We pick one that is ‘best’
  5. We copy it
  6. We each draw a new letter that matches the previous set
  7. Repeat

And that is how we can design a typeface together.

To start a workshop, I give a quick talk about glyph drawing techniques. Depending on the time available, we can apply this evolutionary process to other dimensions of a typeface family: italics, weights, sans/serif companions, and so on.

Participants should bring their own basic drawing materials, and I try to bring what spares I can:

  • Loose sketching paper (copier paper is fine)
  • Thick black “Sharpie” pens, for blacking in letters
  • B+ dark pencils, for sketching
  • Erasers
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Two colored sharpie pens (eg, red and green)
  • Calligraphy pens, ink, and other ‘advanced’ drawing tools

Ideally the space will have a fast photocopier, or a scanner and printer, or a projector. If we have a photocopier, we can photocopy the letters so everyone has a copy. Or if we have a printer, we can take a scan or digital photo and print it. Or if we have a projector, we can take a scan or digital photo and project it – or, if we have no such resources, we can just pin it on the wall where everyone can see it.

It is ideal if the space has tables and chairs for people use when drawing, but the floor is okay. Similarly, a large table area or wall space where people can each place their work in a big group for everyone to review is ideal, but the floor works well too.

Pedro Amado kindly posted some photos of the HackLaViva workshop so you can get a clearer idea of what this looks like. The image at the top of this post is from Pedro.

This entry was posted in Knowledge. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Comments

  1. Posted 9 May, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Good gods, there was a blast in that room? :)

One Trackback

  1. By Workshops in Portugal, January 2012 on 3 January, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    […] Crossland will be running 2 type sketching workshops in Portugal this month, one at the Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Caldas da Rainha (ESAD CR) […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

To create code blocks or other preformatted text, indent by four spaces:

    This will be displayed in a monospaced font. The first four 
    spaces will be stripped off, but all other whitespace
    will be preserved.
    
    Markdown is turned off in code blocks:
     [This is not a link](http://example.com)

To create not a block, but an inline code span, use backticks:

Here is some inline `code`.

For more help see http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • What we do

    Understanding Fonts is a type design training business. If you'd like an event in your college or city, let Dave know: dave@understandingfonts.com