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typography workshop Antwerp | Dublin 14 — 18 . 10 . 2002 Sint Lucas Antwerp Dun Laoghaire Institute Dublin


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The workshop AD LIB. was held at the Dun Laoghaire Institute, School of Art, Design and Media in Dublin from October 13 until October 17, 2002. During these 5 days six students from Sint Lucas Antwerp and six students from the hosting institute worked on the creation and development of experimental typefaces. They also worked together on the presentation of these typefaces, using new media, all of which resulted in the enclosed cd-rom. We hope you enjoy it.


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Ideas from the Heart After teaching Graphic Design for about 15 years, I noticed a strange phenomenon (actually I noticed a lot of strange phenomena, but I’m only writing about this particular one): very talented students in the lower grades failed, or almost failed, in the higher grades. The only cause I could detect was a difference in project timing: short term projects in the lower grades, long term in the higher grades. The simple fact that they had to talk to several teachers week after week seemed to make everybody unhappy in the end. The teachers and students were dissatisfied because the latter never reached the point where the former wanted the project to end up, the latter were unhappy because they saw their project going in a direction they did not realy intend to. The reasons for this were countless: misunderstanding, inexperience, too much experience, in short: every student/teacher combination is different. For years I’ve been struggling with this problem, not knowing how to solve it. Autumn 1998. Tarja Nieminen, Head of the Graphic Design Department at the Institute of Design in Lahti is searching for a teacher to give a Typography workshop. Thanks through a Belgian connection (Lode Coen) they invited me. Since I was getting more and more interested in ‘new media’ I suggested to combining a class on digital font creation (fontographer) with a class on new media (macromedia director). The workshop started on Monday, December 14th at noon, until Friday 18th at 14:25, meaning the students only had four days to finish their project. From these four days a whole day was spent on courses (half a day Fontographer and half a day Director). The assignment: design an experimental typeface, produce it in Fontographer and present it with new media, using Director. On Friday a CD-Rom was burned with all the presentations, accessible through an interface. Thinking backwards, I must have been crazy to think this could work! To my own amazement (and probably that of the students as well) it did. This wonderful mix seemed to solve the problem I described above in a miraculous way. Apparently all the ingredients needed for a successful workshop were present: - no time (so students were almost forced to pursue their first idea,) - group dynamics (there was a meeting every morning at 9 and every evening at 5, where the whole group discussed their projects), - knowledge and skills (the courses and use of the new software) - belief (a crazy and enthusiastic teacher who acted like he had done this many times before) - facilities (the equipment and support in Lahti are excellent, thanks Kari!) and of course - a challenging and rich subject: “experimental” typography. The word ‘experimental’ is not only there because of the lack of time and craftsmanship to create a ‘classical’ font. When you look at the changes in society the last decade(s) you notice (at least I do) some reasons to believe our beloved way of communicating (the western alphabet) is getting under attack... and might not survive...


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So,... let ’s have a look at that sacred old cow: typography! What is it actually, typography? Typography is the most poor and crippled way of communicating, ever invented! It is communication in its most naked, stripped-to-the-bone shape. What a poor sight: black shapes on white paper. Gray boxes, with gray lines. And this is supposed to communicate our deepest thoughts and feelings? If these statements do not shock typographers, nothing ever will! And then again: compare typography with the best way of communicating: two persons standing in front of each other. Basically they use all of their senses. I will not even refer to the scientific evidence that about 80% (79.23% or 50.01% for my sake) of what we verbally communicate is transferred by our gestures, by tonality, timbre and emotion in our voices and by facial expressions. But since I’m using typography to get my idea across, I refer to it anyway... Those who do not read between the lines, might say: typography is dead! And I would then quickly add: long live typography! Yes, these workshops are a great opportunity to experiment with new ways to communicate, new ways of adding emotion, feelings, poetry, art, music, motion... you name it, it’s yours... to these self invented vehicles of communication. And please, do not forget, these workshops result in what I call “Digital Roughs”. For students they serve as a way, not only to explore typography, not only to investigate communication, not only to learn some computer programs, but maybe most of all: to discover the way they function as a designer in the visual communication process. By expressing their “Ideas from the heart”. I have been doing 8 similar workshops since that infamous first one. The 8 CD-Roms prove that I stumbled on a very interesting recipe. The attendants always take care of the spices.

Lucas Nijs, teacher (and student)


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Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Sint-Jozefstraat 35, B-2018 Antwerpen

T +353 1 214 4682 F +353 1 280 3345 www.iadt-dl.ie

T +32 3 223 67 70 F +32 3 223 69 89 www.kdg.be

The Graphic Design Course at Dun Laoghaire

Art at Sint Lucas Antwerp

Established in 1979 the Design/Communications course was originally split into two streams. Stream A: Graphic Design, incorporating production design for television and theatre component. Stream B: Film and Video, incorporating an animation component. It started life as a multidisciplinary and creatively charged structure.

New media, ICT, digital photography, web design, interactive programming, moving images, sets, experimental design. These are just a handful of the terms used today in the world of contemporary art and design. As top stream Art Academy, Sint Lucas Antwerp would like to introduce you to this fascinating world in a professional way. Together, we can discover the latest developments and scan the broadest and newest horizons.

Over time the course established an excellent reputation both nationally and internationally and eventually each strand became successful courses in their own right, while effectively retaining the collaborative dynamic that had served the original course so well. Today, the course continues to be delivered through an integrated, multi-disciplinary programme of study, which offers students every opportunity to explore the dynamics of visual form through communications media and contexts.

From the foundation of an initial basic training, you will learn how to develop your own imagery and ideas. Throughout this process of learning, processing, seeking, asking questions, finding solutions and autonomous creativity, your instructors are at the ready to coach and guide you whenever you need. Graduation is through an independent and innovative final project. You’ll be ready to start as visual artist or designer right from the start.

Every effort is made to facilitate the students personal development, critical and independent thinking, and enable them to evolve and adapt an individual approach to their studio practice.

But it’s not a clear-cut process. You’ll find it’s one of falling and rising to new challenges. Again and again. A team of instructors and guest lecturers will be there to assist you and to instil enthusiasm to continually explore your creativity and to refine and hone it effectively.

In the final year of study students are encouraged to explore design concepts and potential outcomes across both screen and print based media. Project work provides students with an opportunity to question the established requirements of print design and investigate new developments in digital media. This project work is informed by an increased understanding and integration of animation, narrative, and the sequencing of image and text.

In this world of growing professionalism and globalisation, Sint Lucas Antwerp offers a multi-faceted and highly varied training program. Through optional courses and optional workshops you’ll be in the position to compose your own personal course of study. Lectures, tutorials, seminars, studio work, projects, workshops, readings, study trips and information sessions are all brought together and alternate to form an ever-evolving whole.

The course undergoes constant review and endeavours to meet the ongoing demands of contemporary and future practice within the field of visual communications.

Many of these activities have an international character. Foreign guest instructors and professors are often at our door, and there are frequent exchanges with Art Academies throughout Europe and beyond. Study trips cover the globe and a number of our projects transgress national borders. In the context of a European system of training, we award Bachelor’s and Master’s certificates. Are you looking for varied and exciting education in the arts, with intensive assistance and considerable personal attention when desired? Then Sint Lucas Antwerp is your home. We guarantee contemporary training with ample room for innovation and the benefit of the latest technological developments.

Ron Hamilton | Course Co-ordinator, Graphic Design, Dun Laoghaire Institute, Dublin

Mark De Belder | Head of Department Audiovisual and Graphic Art, Karel de Grote-Hogeschool Antwerp


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Alexander Cha’Ban | Sint Lucas Antwerpen

Gary Gill

| Dun Laoghaire Institute Dublin


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Nicolas Marinus | Sint Lucas Antwerpen

Rose Ciotoli

| Dun Laoghaire Institute Dublin


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Tom De Smedt | Sint Lucas Antwerpen

Orlagh Oreilly

| Dun Laoghaire Institute Dublin


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Bob De Schutter | Sint Lucas Antwerpen

Fregal Condon

| Dun Laoghaire Institute Dublin


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Frederik De Bleser | Sint Lucas Antwerpen

Andy Burn

| Dun Laoghaire Institute Dublin


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Nico Potvin | Sint Lucas Antwerpen

Eliane Pearse | Dun Laoghaire Institute Dublin


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ADLIB