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Design School Confidential by Lita Talarico, Steven Heller

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Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
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project brief
Design a new display typeface based on an ex-
isting typeface. Expand the formal language of
this new typeface into a visual system that en-
compasses the underlying ideas and objectives.
Create a brand using the microcosm of forms
and ideas already designed.
project goal
How a graphic designer becomes a god: Over the
course of some years, Goddur’s class has been
experimenting with an exercise in identity cre-
ation based on form by making a display type-
face the starting point for holistic graphic design.
The idea is to research an existing typeface and
its context (visually, theoretically, socially, and
historically) and its author and the authors back-
ground, then create a contemporary display type-
face based on the outcome of the research. The
new typeface becomes the basis for identity cre-
ation for an entity such as a company, ideology,
or anything it can fully communicate in a con-
temporary manner. This is then explored further
in branding exercises, but without the restraints
of commercial concerns. So the experiment be-
comes an exercise where function follows form.
The designer becomes god, and creation is his
sole objective. The designer is then free to design
a microcosm to suit his ideas.
project outcome
Based on their research, the students have made
typefaces that have evolved into their own
visual vocabularies and translated the formal
language of the typeface into comprehensive
and contemporary identity projects. We see a
strong current of type design based on an un-
derlying system—the grid. There are also many
designs based on modular systems. This is an
interesting development because our visual
heritage is based mostly on two elements: the
written word (literature and handwritten, illu-
minated scripts) and embroidery, knitting, and
needlework. These are, of course, closely related
to the grid. Iceland is young and therefore it is
critical at this point to explore and expand our
visual identity as a whole—but do so based on
our legacy.
17
Class: Forms and Ideas 1
Level: Third (Final) Year
Faculty: Goddur
Duration of Project: Eight Weeks
Iceland Academy of the Arts
Reykjavik, Iceland
The Formal Language of a Display Typeface
Î
Everything Typeface
Student: Helgi Pall Einarsson
This is a modular typeface
designed to be assembled
at random by a computer.
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Î
SEXKANT Typeface
Student: Daniel Claus Reuter
The vision of the SEXKANT
typeface is to create a better
everyday life for many people.
We make this possible by of-
fering a wide range of well-
designed, functional letters
at prices so low that as many
people as possible will be able
to afford them.
Î
Morthens Typeface
Student: Jonas Valtysson
I decided to use a script type-
face called Vitrina by Pablo
Medina. I chose it because I
liked the method Pablo used
to create it. He takes pictures
of his urban surroundings and
bases his design on them.
Î
Grindavík Typeface
Student: Sveinn Davidsson
Grindavík is a monospaced
typeface that comes in three
weights. It was inspired by
Wim Crouwel’s type design,
Futhark runes, and older co-
mae forms.
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S
T
b
t
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S
I
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Ï
Basic Typeface
Student: Ragnar Freyr Palsson
This is an attempt to make the simplest typeface using only the
basic forms. The result is minimal yet very loud. Funnily enough,
this typeface is based on Franklin Gothic.
Ï
Dingleballs Typeface
Student: Birna Geirfi nnsdottir
I created this font after researching Paul Renner’s Futura.
Ï
Snidagrind and Kogra
Typefaces
Student: Siggi Oddsson
Snidagrind is inspired by
Stephan Muller’s Gateway.
It mimics the modular grid
of the typeface, while being
much more complex and or-
ganic. It comes in two types,
A and B, and within each type
is a version for both small and
large sizes. Kogra was inspired
by fractals and is intended for
use in large sizes.
Ï
Veekend, Father,
and Abkur Typefaces
Student: Geir Helgi Birgisson
the projects 91
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