Friday, 23 January 2009

Back Again

Cotty in London

I came back to Reading on the 1st (!) of January with Caterina, my younger sister – above – and spent three or four days doing sightseeing with her in London and then getting back cracking on my essay. It’s been quite challenging to write again: it turns out all the materials I gathered during the break were far too many for my essay and I don’t think I summarised them properly in the end. But still, after several all-nighters (!) and rampant procrastination the deadline came this monday and I finally got some proper sleep. This is the scenario the afternoon before the deadline:

de profundis

I must say one of the constants of the past month or so has been… food, of all things: of course I expected to have a lot of good food during the break, but when I got back, partly through my sister, I got motivated and started cooking like crazy. I now have tortelloni di spinaci, polpette di maiale e manzo con purè, torta di ricotta, gnocchi di ricotta, gnocchi di patate, ragù di manzo, polenta and zuppa di legumi under my belt. I need to explore a little bit more into the desserts and maybe get some better equipment (like a pasta flattening machine!) or ingredients, but I’m definitely having a good time!


Ah, some bits I forgot to mention from before the break: I managed to do some letterpress printing with the department’s equipment and some bookbinding during to Paula Barahona’s informal friday workshops (thanks, Paula!).

Anyway, back to the course: after the break and the essay, lectures resumed as usual. We had Adam Twardoch visiting for a FontLab/type technologies workshop, which also included a short visit by Marina Chaccur who was on holidays in Europe and came over to Reading. This week, after a short visit by Victor Gaultney we all rushed back to work on our typefaces as we had Gerry’s review on thursday. It went OK, but we stll have a lot of work ahead of us.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009



This is a silly little project I put together last April and never got around to publish because of… lack of a logo. I’ve been making sketches every now and then but nothing really worked for me until this weekend when I hit something I was finally satisfied with, which you see above.

So what is abtee, anyway? I have been using Spreadshirt for a couple of years now to produce the odd t-shirt every now and then, but nothing really serious. Then one day I was fiddling with the weights of a typeface I was designing and it occurred to me that doing a t-shirt for each letter of the alphabet would have been a nightmare with warehousing, managing supplies, etc. and then I was reminded of Spreadshirt. So I talked about it over lunch with my family and we agreed the idea was silly. But!

The name abtee is even sillier: a-bi-ti means “clothing” in Italian (but to get there you have to pronounce it half in Italian and half in English). One could say it rhymes like a-b-c, which makes it appropriate for what we’re trying to do. Anyway, I’ve been sitting on this idea for far too long so there it is!