December 2013, Typeradio held a two day workshop in cooperation with Indra Kupferschmid and 10 students of the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste (HBK Saar) in Saarbrücken, Germany. Each student was assigned a typeface, designed by a Dutch designer, along with the assignment: ‘translate the typeface into a one minute sound piece’.?The resulting 10 sound pieces were the starting point of another workshop, in collaboration with Jan Willem Stas and the students of the Type]Media 2014 typography master coarse in The Hague, The Netherlands. Each T]M student was handed an (anonymously labelled) sound piece and their challenge was to ‘create a typeface concept inspired by the sound’. The results were quite surprising!
1) Original typeface: Decoder by Gerard Unger
2) Sound piece by Carina Schwake
3) Chinese whispered typeface by Nina Christine Stössinger
What Nina heard was a trained singing voice, possibly digitally sampled; so she imagined the type to look like something a trained hand might write, digitally cleaned. It is fluid – letters are usually made of a single stroke and don’t feature sharp corners –, but somewhat minimal and deliberate. Nina ‘translated’ the equal length of the tones to a monospaced design; the slowness of the singing to a generous width; and the swelling of the volume within each tone to a swelling stroke that usually starts and ends in a thin point. And then, of course, the layering of voices to the layering of font styles: “The piece soon combines two voices, and towards the end introduces rhythm changes and ligations that make the voices differ. So I drew two related layers that overlay and intertwine, with the second one offering a set of discretionary ligatures. – This was seriously fun to draw!”
HBK Saar ::
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