Saturday Type Fever 2019 – Recap

Type-marathon at HfG Karlsruhe

Author: Juliane Hohlbaum

On 11th and 12th of January 2019, NoFoundry hosted the type-marathon “Saturday Type Fever”: for 30 hours, around 80 students and typographers from numerous schools from Germany, Belgium, Estonia, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands gathered at the HfG Karlsruhe to work side by side on their unfinished fonts or one-day font projects. The event also aimed to connect type design students from different universities across regional boundaries, and create a lively exchange between apprentice typographers and designers. Carlotte from Geneva, Switzerland says : “I wanted to challenge myself and see what I can do in thirty hours. It’s also a great opportunity to meet other designers and work in an unfamiliar environment.”

The marathon started on Friday at 6 p.m. and lasted until Saturday at midnight. To kick off the work in a playful way and gather some inspiration, seven students of the HfG organized an hour-long workshop on analog type design in smaller groups for all the participants. Then, throughout the event, ten graphic designers and typographers, student or not, held short talks giving an insight into their works and the design of fonts, and offered feedback sessions for participants to discuss the work in progress. Guests included Johnson/Kingston and Reto Moser, Charlotte Rohde and Tatjana Stürmer, Jérémy Landes, Simon Knebl, Riefka Elhabachi, Massimiliano Audretsch, Catharina Hirsch, and Severin Geissler.

The designers were working in groups of four to seven people per table and every ten hours, a zine was produce for each group showing the current version of each participant. These process zines were then displayed after the end of the countdown on Saturday night as the results of the marathon. A great number of typefaces were produced during the marathon, including numerous first ever typefaces and collaborative projects. Alice from Lugano in Switzerland had no previous experience in type design: “I wanted to try to make a typeface; so it was my first experience in type design and the event was the best opportunity for that. I am very happy that I came here.”

NoFoundry is a type foundry run by students of the HfG Karlsruhe, established in the semester 2017 / 18 in a seminar of the HfG Professor duo Johnson/Kingston, with the aim of giving students the opportunity to sell their own typefaces and to exchange ideas with other students and designers about the design and use of typefaces. The next NoFoundry font release, and the first ever external font in the catalog, is planned for early March.