Fonts at The Font

A very big thanks to all who attended Fonts at The Font on three Thursday evenings in January 2016.

This was a pilot series of public talks about historical and contemporary typesetting that raised funds for the student-run F10 Design Society and our local friends the Leicester Print Workshop. The students will use to proceeds to help mount their degree show – and the printers will buy another press!

It was great to see a mix of people including first year students, some of our Brazilian exchange students, local design practitioners and members of the LPW, all hosted by Jo and her lovely staff at The Font – without whom it wouldn’t have been possible.

The film screenings included Banging Out: Fleet Street Remembered and Chuck Kraemer’s excellent documentary about letterpress printing at The Firefly Press in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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The contemporary (digital) practice presentations focussed on why and how to hack the default font menu, also how to manage font resources using FontBook or Suitcase Fusion and the wonderful new font licensing model from Fontstand – which is a real ‘try before you buy’ proposition. The upshot is that time-wasting, endlessly-scrolling metre-long font menus can be shortened to include only the fonts one really wants to work with, and they are now available for no down-payment!

Despite this knowledge not being found on any undergraduate syllabus, students no longer have to pirate (well-made) fonts or download badly-made ones from sites like dafont. Nor should they have to waste time scrolling onscreen through the defaults.

Typography books were raffled and donated, suggestions were made for follow-up events, and enough interest generated to validate the pilot series, so for now, it’s a case of ‘watch this space’.