Belgium, Antwerp

Critical Approaches to Typography. Research Into the Interaction Between Typographic Conventions and the Digital Age

when 2 September 2019 - 6 September 2019
language English
duration 1 week
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 600

Today everyone who uses a computer is practically a typesetter and typography is no specialism anymore. Conventions are automatically maintained because practitioners of typography – professionals and amateurs – base their typographical decisions on what is common. The legibility aspect seems easy to control by selecting type that is considered common, without knowing what legibility exactly comprises.

Art historian Ernst Gombrich notes that the stimulus patterns on the retina are not alone in determining our picture of the visual world, and that its messages are modified by what we know about the ‘real’ shape of objects. In other words: ‘One cannot see more than one knows’. But what exactly do we know of type and typography?

This summer school will discuss the value of research for typography. The keywords are ‘Perception’, ‘History’, ‘Convention’, ‘Technology’ and ‘Legibility’. Answers to the research questions will be distilled from the study of artifacts in the collection of the famous Museum Plantin-Moretus. After all, the typographical conventions were set during the Renaissance. At the same time we will study how font technology has developed since the 1970s, and look at what became technically possible, in Latin and non-Latin scripts

Target group

Bachelor, Master, Professionals.
No specific expertise in the field of type design is required, nor any knowledge of the development of historical type and typography.

Credits info

3 EC
3 ECTS credits will be awarded upon writing a paper with answers to the five research questions, an evaluation of the programme and a personal reflection on the five keywords.

Fee info

EUR 600: Fee includes course material, coffee breaks, farewell dinner, several excursion and social activities.
Does not include lunch or accommodation.