The University of Reading is one of the few institutions in the world to offer a masters program in typeface design. While attending TypeCon 2009 in Atlanta I had the opportunity to meet Antonio Cavedoni and Eben Sorkin who are currently working on their MA in Typeface Design at Reading. Antonio is also interning as a type designer in the Type group (Frameworks department) at Apple in Cupertino, California. After TypeCon was over I caught the MARTA to the airport with Antonio and Brazilian designer (and TypeCon DJ) Frederico Antunes. I was impressed at Antonio’s ability to name virtually every typeface in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
One of my favorite experiences from TypeCon was observing the infamous Type Critiques. These sessions provided type designers the opportunity to receive constructive criticism from type design masters Matthew Carter, John Downer and Akira Kobayashi. This year, Gerard Unger, the legendary Dutch type designer and visiting professor at the University of Reading, joined as a special guest. Gerard was awarded the 2009 SOTA Typography Award. Antonio Cavedoni, Eben Sorkin and Reading grad Emma Williams were among the designers having their work critiqued.
I had a chance to speak with several Reading alums, including Dan Reynolds, Emma Williams, Paul Hunt and Shelley Gruendler. Programme Director Gerry Leonidas gave a presentation entitled “A Few Things I Have Learned About Typeface Design” with advice to aspiring type designers.
So I was excited to see that the work from the MA Typeface Design at the University of Reading was posted to typefacedesign.org today. In addition to PDF specimens of each of the typefaces, the Reflection on Practice essays are publicly available for the first time. These documents are an insightful look at the process behind the project and represent a significant portion of the degree fulfillment. I highly recommend visiting typefacedesign.org and downloading the specimens and essays. The images above highlight a portion of what you will find.