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You are here: Home / Conferences / Antwerp 2018 / Programme


Designing type based on historical findings
When Wed 12 Sep 1710
Where AP Hogeschool 2
What Track 2
Who Clovis Vallois, Anton Studer
In 2001, during a renovation of the Zurich School of Applied Arts and Crafts (today ZHdK), hand lettered signage was discovered hidden behind ancient wallpaper. The letters were individually painted and had been applied by hand in 1930 as signage for the modernist building. The letter designs are assumed to be the work of Ernst Keller. Between 2001 and 2004, Prof. Rudolf Barmettler, in collaboration with students, digitized the letters and combined them into fonts. In conjunction with the recent renovation of the Design Museum, Prof. Barmettler, in collaboration with the Zurich-based type foundry Nouvelle Noire, has drawn Rektorat, a type family based on this historical lettering. It is important to draw attention to the fact that the typeface is not merely a trivial revival, based on the historical models. When working with archival material which results from different application contexts, the question comes up: which form is the initial form which is related to the building? Which characteristics of the letterforms are worth being considered and transferred into the digital version, either for the application in signage or in print? The speakers will try to give detailed information about the decision-making and designing process.

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