TypeThursday, Year One 2015-2016
Celebrate the start of a cultural institution
Now in multiple cities in the United States, TypeThursday had humble beginnings.
Julie Thompson has spent the last year documenting the start of this cultural movement we call TypeThursday. Now produced as a limited edition and beautifully designed book with the same thoughtfulness and care we put in our events.
Reflect on designers finding their voice
Dedicated participants have returned to TypeThursday month after month and cultivated distinct voices with letterforms. We honor this dedication and growth by learning more about these individuals. You will be inspired to develop your voice by the possibilities revealed by these dedicated participants.
Level up your knowledge of letterforms
Instead of spending hours on Medium, gain the insights of hundreds of hours in a few minutes with spotlight interviews organized by theme. Become a better designer with insights from industry practitioners working at Commercial Type, H&Co., Adobe, House Industries, Font Bureau, Etsy, Google and more.
This is your chance to discover the latest insights by the top practitioners in the letterform arts.
Limited to a run of 150 books.
In addition to the New York City events, TypeThursday has also shared the voices type, lettering and design practitioners via topical interviews published online through Medium.com. The most often highlighted portions of these interviews from the first year have been included in the book.
Practitioners interviewed include:
- Lara Hogan of Etsy
- Wenting Zhang of Typekit
- Lynne Yun of Monotype
- Ken Barber of House Industries
- Miguel Reyes of Commercial Type
- Ethan Marcotte of Responsive Web Design
- and more!
Below is an excerpt from Andy Clymer of Hoelfer & Co. ↓
Andy Clymer, a typeface designer at Hoefler & Co., talks about his love for coding and how it can help your design process.
I think type designers think a lot about the process because things take so long. As a type designer, you’re going to be working on for years on a project, and you want to be sure you’re doing it the right way so that you’re not setting off now worrying if you’re going to lose three months of work when you realize you did something wrong. Things can be very tedious.
For example, kerning can be a very tedious process. You think about it as, “I have to look at everything. I have to look at every single combination of glyphs,” and it can feel insurmountable. There isn’t just one way to kern a font, or proof all of these combinations of glyphs, designers who had run into this same problem made new tools when they thought of a better way. So, you think a lot about the process as a type designer, and the tools that you use influence the process. If you take away the word “code,” just talk about the process, then maybe it sounds a little bit less intimidating to a non-programmer.
In type, it’s very easy to get caught in the technicalities of it. The designing, the type, the programming, the process, but ultimately, [the purpose of it is] to be used, to tell a story, to help people with their work. It’s just a tool on its own. One of the larger lessons I have learned [is], the work we do, [which] even gets presented as very technology-focused , can still convey a lot of stories and a lot of souls. But that’s still all up to the person who uses it; I can only hope that it’s used in a positive way.
Year One also includes three unpublished profiles of longtime members of the TTNYC community: Anselm Dästner, Karolina Lach, and Aaron Sage. The designers’ stories highlight their creative process and how feedback at TypeThursday critiques has influenced their work. Below is Karolina Lach’s profile.
Karolina has been a TypeThursday regular for a long time, and her journey in typography and design has existed much longer. With an academic background in type from Cooper Union and the University of Reading, she has been a valuable contributor to the design community.
In 2015, she joined a pottery class at a studio in downtown Manhattan with a coworker, just for fun. She immediately responded to how making pottery spoke directly to her aspiration to design useful things, with the added element of three-dimensionality. From there, she made it her own by applying her passion and expertise in type.
Karolina has shared at TypeThursday her highly memorable ceramic pieces which feature her original type and lettering designs. Her acerbic yet cheeky awareness and sense of humor in the words and phrases she features (e.g. “No Chill,” “Feminist Killjoy,” “Bad Hombre”) are a response to what’s happening in the world, and a creative way to share idiosyncratic observations and ideas.
At nearly every critique session, she has been asked, “Where can I buy this?” After almost two years of making custom one-of pieces that are not for sale, Karolina moved her workspace from the downtown pottery studio to a studio in Long Island City, Queens, at SculptureSpace NYC. Here, she hopes to develop a slip-casting and mould making process; enabling her to make consistent multiples of pieces, and streamline the lengthy process of crafting each piece by hand, while controlling quality.
The creation of original pieces takes at least several days; due to the nature of working with clay, and the rate at which it air-dries (kiln-firing and, later, glazing only take place after several stages of drying the sculpted piece; from very fresh wet clay, or “greenware,” until the moisture content is at or near zero, or “bone dry”).
When she’s not sharing invaluable insight into process and inspiration at TypeThursday, Karolina enjoys living in Astoria, Queens (as of this writing). She is a patron of Astoria Park’s Olympic-sized pool in the summers, before heading to the pottery studio, or before going to work in design and user experience. Her forthcoming collection of custom lettered pottery will be called, “Petty Type Crimes.”