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You are here: Home / Conferences / Montréal 2017 / Programme

Sculpted surfaces

From linocut to Bézier curves
When Wed 13 Sep 1740
Where UQAM, Cœur des sciences
Who Malou Verlomme

For more than four centuries, punchcutters designed their letterforms through superposing surfaces. The outside and counter shapes interact: a letter emerges. The tension resulting from these two very different elements is what makes the unique beauty of letterforms.

Since the early 1900s, when type design and production became fully industrialized processes, letters have become defined by their contours, and typeface designers have gone from sculpting letterforms to drawing their outlines.

Last year, I started making letterforms using the linocut technique. Without making any preliminary sketches, I sculpted the letters out of the printing surface and that process that was quite liberating for a type designer who has spent years using Bézier curves.

This talk will explain my process and show the peculiar forms that resulted from such an experiment. It will then look at the history of type design and production to question the tools we use today. Finally it will try to imagine ways of getting back to sculpted shapes in our modern day digital environment.

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