Melting Metal; Developing Type Craft

A 56-page student research publication with an introduction by Dr. Frank Blokland, which is perhaps best summarized by Frank himself;

Melting Metal; Developing Typecraft is a self-authored booklet by the 2022–23 laureates of the Expert class Type design course at the Plantin Institute of Typography, Antwerp. It is the result of a thorough investigation of the relationship between established Renaissance and Baroque font-production frameworks and punchcutters’ idioms. It contains an overview of digital revivals made during the course, which are based on the work of four selected illustrious punchcutters from equally different style periods. This is combined with a detailed account of the processes that led to these revivals. The booklet also contains descriptions of the interaction between the students and additionally reflections on the way of working (together).

Melting Metal can be regarded as a model outline for those who want to dig deeper into the foundations of type design and related typographic conventions. Moreover, this publication can also be very useful for those who do not work professionally with type, but want to gain a better understanding of what exactly one sees when looking at typography, whether made with historical movable or current digital type. The measurements and associated graphs make the invisible visible and help laymen to see what they apparently do not see immediately. Connoisseurs, on the other hand, can get a better understanding of what idiom comprises, that is, what exactly distinguishes one punchcutter from another.

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