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ATypI Warsaw 2016, Day 1: the convergence begins

The 60th annual ATypI conference is underway in Warsaw. For five days, the global typographic community gathers in the capital of Poland–to learn and inform, to exchange ideas and assess the state of the type world today, and, above all, to (re)connect with friends old and new.

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ATypI attendees gather in the PJAIT foyer to check in for this year’s workshops. All photos copyright and courtesy of ATypI.

Tuesday, September 13–the first day of the conference–was entirely devoted to the pre-conference workshops, which were held at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technologies (PJAIT). Attendees were offered a variety of options, ranging from age-old analog crafts to the the latest digital type design and production techniques.

Under the guidance of renowned calligrapher Brody Neuenschwander, participants in RIGHT LEFT UP DOWN explored the kinetics of calligraphy. Because every episode of ALW–a series of workshops about Arabic lettering–explores a different theme, Khajag Apelian and Kristyan Sarkis chose Epigrams for ATypI 2016 and its motif of “Convergence.”

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Arabic Lettering Workshop: Epigrams, a lettering workshop by Khajag Apelian and Kristyan Sarkis.

Two workshops were centered around typeface design proper: Students were invited to bring an in-progress typeface to Show Me Your Type, where Verena Gerlach gave advice on how to further develop and take a type design to completion. Martin Majoor gave a master class on Designing a Sans in One Day without a computer, using loads of pencils, felt-tip markers, and correction fluid on paper. Aleksandra Stępień’s letterpress workshop was the only class not held at PJAIT, but rather was hosted at the Academy of Fine Arts, where participants printed postcards with Greetings from Warsaw.

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Designing a Sans in One Day, a typeface design workshop by Martin Majoor.

On the production side of the spectrum, there was an opportunity to learn how to embed scripts into a design workflow in Frederik Berlaen’s RoboFont In Practice, and to go through a sample workflow for Asian Type Design in Glyphs with Georg Seifert and Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer. Adam Twardoch, Thomas Phinney, and Yuri Yarmola demonstrated the new outline design process and highlighted technical details in FontLab VI in Depth.

Adobe’s Miguel Sousa explained how to add SVG functionality to fonts in SVG in OpenType, while Jason Pamental focused on the web side of typography with Responsive Typography Workshop: using type well on the web. Finally, Take Care of your EULA and your EULA will take care of you saw Darden Studio CEO Joyce Ketterer demystify the End User License Agreement.

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Asian Type Design in Glyphs, a tools workshop by Georg Seifert and Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer.

The first day ended with the International Student Moving Typography Festival (MOTYF), an open-air media exhibition presented in the courtyard of Narodowy Instytut Audiowizualny (NInA, the National Audiovisual Institute). Visitors sat on big stairs and at little round tables, headphones on, watching short films that were projected on a huge wall. The media work of young up-and-coming artists was eclectic, with some intriguing, even captivating entries. Not only were the short films interesting–the sight of all those pairs of little blue lights shining from wireless headphones worn in the dark provided a poetic coda to the first day.

The ATypI Warsaw Reports

Bald Condensed, né Yves Peters, is a Belgian-based rock drummer known for his astute observations on the impact of letterforms in the contemporary culture-sphere. A prolific writer on typography, he has a singular knack for identifying the most obscure typefaces known to man.