Presentation details
Listen to the hand

Timothy Donaldson

Sunday 16 September | 10:45 – 11:15
Location: Sallis Benney Theatre

Presentation | Theme: | Duration: 30 minutes

The unavoidable, essential and guiding role of the hand in lettershape and letterform generation from microscopic typographic detail to large three-dimensional application is to be considered here: The manual creation of letterforms affects the way one thinks about letters and therefore, affects the way that those letters look regardless of the means of generation.

After a clarification of terminology there will be an examination of practice. Then a scrutiny of the differing techniques of a number of well-known letter-makers including: Hermann Zapf, Hans Schmidt, Villu Toots, Ward Dunham, Friedrich Poppl, Hans-Joachim Burgert, Gerrit Noordzij, Chris Brand and Adrian Frutiger.

Then, the influence that years of investigating these techniques has brought to my own work with letters including the theoretical underpinnings of the ‘Big-Writing’ performances that I have undertaken at previous ATypI conferences and an examination of the work I am now doing with sculptural letterforms for the Coastal Alphabet.

Speaker details

Timothy Donaldson Type Designer | United Kingdom

Timothy Donaldson is a letterworker. He was formed in the NorthWest of England, an only child of Yorkshire parents. He developed an obsessive interest in drawing during his first decade which matured into another obsession with writing (still drawing) during his second one. During his third decade he was a journeyman signwriter, earning his crust in pursuit of the just forming of letters. By his fourth decade he had become a lettering artist and type designer and a lecturer at Stafford School of Art + Design; a legendary destination for the teaching and learning of Typography in England. In his fifth decade, he focussed fully on his work with lettershapes and letterforms as a Research Fellow at the University of Lincoln, UK. He has now started his sixth decade and teaches at University College Falmouth, the last university in England. He has designed about 60 typefaces for Adobe, FontShop International, The International Typeface Corporation and Letraset. He is well known for his ongoing experiments with tools and chirographic mark-making, particularly in large scale performances. He recently wrote a book about the history of the alphabet entitled 'Shapes for sounds' (cowhouse). Now he's writing another one, but he's not going to talk about that just yet.

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