Sunday, 30 November 2008

Greek Week

I left you on the 30th of october while we where having our Arabic workshop with Fiona Ross: a month has gone by and we had two other non-latin workshops, another one by Fiona Ross on Indian scripts and the Greek workshop by Gerry Leonidas, making this last week “the greek week”.

Trying your hand on a new script is definitely confusing at first. As I kept saying these days, it felt like driving a car by night, with my lights turned off: where is it, exactly, I’m trying to go? The approach here in Reading is to give us an overview of the scripts, both from scribal sources and from typographic sources, then trying our hand at actually reproducing the shapes paying attention to the proportions and rhythm of each script, and then seeing the correlation between written samples and type. While we didn’t do it with Arabic and Devanagari due to the complexity of the scripts, we did go digital with Greek. Here are my sketches:

Greek experiment

On tuesday we had Richard Kegler from coming in to talk about his experience about founding and running P22, and on thursday we went to London to hear Jost Hochuli speak at the St Bride Library about “Systematic Book Design <QUESTION MARK>”. As you might have guessed, the pace is increasing steadily here in Reading: while all these workshops where going we had another week-long visit by Gerard Unger, and we also have our regular fixtures of the week like the research methods seminars, Michael Twyman’s classes, James Mosley’s classes, etc.

Next saturday most of us will be off home for the holidays, working on our essays and on our typefaces while trying to rest a bit. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll wander off to bed!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


Hello dispatched, sorry if it’s been a while since my last post. We’re going to take a slight detour of our regular typographic program because I want to write about the best concert I’ve seen so to date, which was at the Astoria in London on monday night.

I know some of you will probably start wondering about my bad taste in music (right, Claus?), but please realize I literally grew up listening to these guys: Extreme, is a band from Boston, USA. I first found them through the Freddie Mercury tribute concert, where they played a spectacular performance and were sort of “blessed” by Brian May as “the band that more than anyone else on this planet knows what Queen was about”. And – lest you don’t know it – Queen is just the best band ever, full stop. After that I just basically listened to Extreme all through high school and beyond, and loved each new record they put out – which was unfortunately too little of them: after the fourth (amazing) record they called it quits, so I had to reconcile myself with the idea of never hearing that music played live ever again.

Extreme at the Astoria

The fans never stopped listening to their music, so when the rumors of a reforming and a new tour started spreading out, everybody was, let’s say, extremely excited.

I went with Matte to the gig, we met under the Freddie Mercury statue at the Dominion in Tottenham Court Road, the proceeded to the Astoria. The venue was packed, so we found a spot upstairs where we could see what was going on. What followed where two hours and something of pure rock, ending in a tribute to Freddie Mercury & Queen. They also did a lot of old favourites plus some more new tracks from the last album, which I really enjoyed.

Extreme at the Astoria

I just sang my heart out through the whole night, and came back home with a huge grin on my face which still won’t go away even if a couple of days have passed – it was that good. Gary, Pat, Nuno, Kevin: thanks, I really had a blast! Thanks also to Matte for the pictures above: I had my camera with me but since it was semi-professional they wouldn’t let me take it into the venue, I had to leave it at the reception.

And now I’m back to practicing greek typography!

Saturday, 8 November 2008


This morning I woke up early and I took Earleigh road to go to the Earley station.