Workshop: Morphologic @ Merz Akademie, Stuttgart

May 16-20, 2012

Source Files :: Photo Gallery

A week of type, open source and procedural thinking. Learning to work with the command line, drawing a collaborative typeface through drawing instructions and writing scripts to modify existing Libre typefaces.

Day 1

  • Introduction to the work of OSP Open Source Publishing
  • Tutorial of command line interfaces.
  • Tools: Terminal, Homebrew
  • Homebrew is a package manager that allows to easily install command line Unix software. Cygwin is the Windows equivalent, but offers less packages. In Windows we found running Linux in Virtualbox a better option.
  • See:

Day 2

  • Procedural drawing. Using the Robofab library, students draw a letter using drawing instructions for an imaginary pen.
  • Tools: Robofab, Python
  • Python is a programming language known for its clear syntax. Robofab is a programming library that makes it easy to deal with font objects in Python.
  • See

The final font as Morphologic.otf

Day 3

  • Design of a procedural transformation of a typeface
  • Designing a recipe for a software procedure is more explicit than for a human. You can tell a human to cut of all serifs of a typeface. A software interface will often see a font as just a collection of points, and if you want it to do something with the serifs you will first have to find a way to define to the software what then is a serif.

Day 4

  • Implementing a procedural transformation of a typeface
  • Tools: Robofab, the GhostScript Fonts
  • The Ghostscript Fonts is a set of typefaces created to replace (and mimic) the proprietary typefaces present in the specification of Adobe PostScript (Helvetica, Times, Courier and several others). As such they represent the DNA of desktop publishing. Thus, while none of the fonts are extremely interesting in their own right, they form a great backdrop for showing procedural transformations on typefaces. And because of their free and open source license, you are actually allowed to alter and redistribute them.

Day 5

  • Presentation of the transformation on a poster
  • Tools: free choice

with John Haltiwanger / OSP

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