Saturday, 19 July 2008

Coming soon!

Cassius is getting ready to rumble! 
Stay tuned: sneak previews, full trailers and pdfs are on their way. As well as some fun/entertaining/tragic/exiting/missing/incredible/true story telling items!
Some bits and pieces are already available on Flickr here or here.
[ Éventuelle traduction automatique dans les commentaires les mecs ! ]

The Great Robbery

Yes, back in March Foxhill got some unwilling visitors. Damned
But don’t worry, unlike this blog, we’ve got over it!
And, well, procrastination have to plead guilty in the lack-of-update case too.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Tales of a Time Traveller

Now we know. We know where Jonathan Hoefler’s outrageous talent come from: he is in possession of the mythical time machine, constantly travelling with his type DoLorean, collecting the most valuable type treasures from all times and all spaces. The evidences can’t lie, we spotted him on a picture published in the 1957 issue of Caractère Noël.

Caractère Noël — 1957 issue.

Indeed during his last visit Gerard Unger shown a couple issues of the French type and graphic annual Caractère Noël, the gorgeous ‘that’s what we can do’ publication’ published every year by the Compagnie Française d’Édition during the late 50’s and 60’s.

Caractère Noël — 1957 issue.

Caractère Noël — 1957 issue.

Caractère Noël — 1957 issue.

Gerard pointed a very interesting comparison with Caractère Noël older brother and model, the famous –not less gorgeous– English Penrose Annual, maybe (?) not as flamboyant but probably more constructed, deep and ambitious.
Two equally infinite sources of fascination anyway.

Penrose Annual volume 58 — 1965 issue.

Penrose Annual volume 58 — 1965 issue.

Penrose Annual volume 59 — 1966 issue.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

things We Don’t Have In France: Feathered Students

I just realised that the ‘Things We Don’t Have In France’ series might be read as cynical way to mock United Kingdom or express a more than very doubtful French primacy. It is absolutely not. No irony there, England rocks (so does France, once in a while, and a truckload lot of other countries anyway).
Here is the evidence: we have wonderful swans swimming over the lake in the campus. And as the year goes on we are getting really good friends. We’ll soon chat with them as we daily cross the bridge to get some Student Union Magic Sandwich Deals.

Michael Twyman on Non-Latin Books

I now need a little help from my thesaurus to keep on saying how Mychael Twyman’s sessions are great. And that week –28 January– it was slpendiferous, as usual.
Note that you have an opportunity to see the almost complete crew of the MA Typeface design students on the picture, we just missed Yvonne. And guess what? We had two guests! Seb et popsy étaient dans la place. Clin d’œil les mec.

Greek Week!

Here it was, inevitable, fascinating, gorgeous, famous: the week long Greek workshop!

Gerry started with a quick but deep and dense overview of the history of Greek typography by showing us some amazing pieces of printed matters from his collection, from 16th century (and earlier) to present days

Garamond’s Grecs du Roi, printed by Henri Estienne in 1591
Dionis Cassii Romanarum Historiarum.

Didot’s Greek in Hymne d’Aristote à la vertue, 1832.
We also reviewed digital typefaces and explored some former students workfiles. Then came the writing and sketching time, and we quickly ended with some draft digital versions we could talk about.

First printout on day 3. A lot of thing to do and more to come, I promise (maybe).
What a fantastic week! Our understanding of Greek, Greek type, and Greek history got of course a lot greater. So did our understanding of type design and typography themselves. I now fully realise the importance of seeing things rather than pictures of things. We all got a pretty strong demonstration that type has to be taught and seen in its context, in relation with its history and the history of languages and culture. The whole approach of multi-script type family as system of relationships get now even more exiting and challenging, opening new routes for the Latin design itself. Yoohoo.
Read more on your usual story dealer.

Michael Twyman on Pop Up Books

The ‘Monday’ saga goes on and on. On the 21 January, Michael Twyman shown us his pop up books collection. Again amazing stuff and gorgeous lecture, unfortunately Dan and I were not good enough to save the poor lady above. Condolences.

Spéciale dédicace Valentine, you are not alone.
Picture by Michi

One Laptop Per Grown Up (?) Kid

In the beginning of January, Dave brought his XO laptop in the department. Some aspects are maybe disappointing (or free) but we all got quite excited about the ‘one laptop per child’ machine and some of its really cool features such as a pretty smart screen luminosity/definition management and a cheap robustness.
Thank you Dave for bringing us in the heart of hot technology! We are now waiting for Gerry’s future Macbook Air (or Michi's desired iPhone) to compare. More on TypeOff, of course.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

A Night In The Department

Later is better than never, here are the adventures I postponed to blog about. Be prepare for everyday updates this week, I have a lot to tell… But let’s start from the beginning.

Another big step in our way to learn type design.We were back in Reading with a tough program: one week for an essay. After Gerry’s last guide lines and a slight topic change for me —from Arabic dictionaries to ‘Secondary types’ strategies in Arabic typography– we all got through 6 days of hard work outlining, writing, drafting, reading, note-taking, researching, scanning in various orders, a few times overlapped by sleep and food – Dan used to talk about blurry memory refering to this time of our lives.

Derek Birdsall said you always have to multiply a dead-line by π, since the University is not really joking about multiplication Manu, Dan aka lovely-effecient-super-proof-reader, Joke & I decided to spend the Sunday evening in the Department. Work, fun, gymnastic, coke light and printers were there too… Soon the evening turned into night and we had the pleasure to enjoy our first sunrise on campus (a lot before generating the definitive pdf files).
And by 12 pm on Monday essays were dropped in the box!

Others ‘we did it’ pictures here and here!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Vacances de Noël

Des couscous chez Mamane, des sapins de Noël, des vrais, des faux, des huitres, des bobouns chez Schen, des concert de jazz, des bierres, une amoureuse, des aubergines, des bornes et des bornes, des tours Eiffel, des nouvels ans, des friends, des bretons, des metros, des meufs, des mecs, des soldes, des tarrots, des Auchans, des décapsuleurs Coca Cola, des cousins, des maisons au bord de la mer, des vélos, des bisous, des copains, des copines, du coca sur les canapés, des nouveaux appartements, des cadeaux and so on. Hum, nothing really translatable…

Forever love les tout petits amis.

Last night in Reading

For our last night in the UK, a few days before Christmas, Yvonne got a call from one of her German friends whose boyfriend was playing in Reading – ?! – Without deeply questioning the probability of such things happening, Yvonne, Manu, Ibrahim & I went there. We ended in a ‘tuxedo cheap Oscar dress estate agency private almost over Christmas party’.
I must say we ruled the dance floor

Things We Don’t Have In France: Chocolate Letters

Two weeks before Christmas we had the pleasure to welcome Gerben, former student at the MATD and previous occupier of the Foxhill castle. He and some of his classmates were back in Reading to received the fruit of their hard work, during the so-called graduation ceremony!
Beside wearing a squarish hat he also brought us a little part of his Nerderlandish home country: a massive chocolate V. It seems that this not well enough known field of typography raise some challenging design issues, since all the letters should weight the same…
Thank you folk, congratulations!