Notes on the Typecast Elective at the RCA

Course out­line


References Doc

Enquiry Doc

Thursday, January 31st 2019

The work­shop is es­sen­tially about ques­tion­ing type. how do we de­velop it, how is it dis­played, what does it do. The work even­tu­ally goes into Typographic Singularity (Hopefully at Elephant West).

The brief is Make a piece of ty­po­graphic work that aadds some di­men­sion, such as

The work needs to be based on a text, which can be:

The out­comes can be spec­u­la­tive (yuch).

Week one is about sub­ver­sion of tools and processes. If your tool is InDesign, ques­tion its as­sump­tions (why is the page lim­ited? Why does it give me de­fault font choices) and sub­vert them.

The his­tory of type (slightly abridged)

36-line Bible Gutenberg’s 36-line Bible (1458-1460). Commons

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Poem Field No. 1 (1967) by Stan Vanderbeek

Febuary 28, 2019

Nicky Hamlyn on text in film.

March 7, 2019

Idea that a pretty ba­sic math­e­mat­i­cal process (Levenshtein) is mash­ing these dif­fer­ent au­thors to­gether. Original au­thor, sec­ondary au­thor, the ma­chine, the per­son typ­ing are all in­ter­act­ing with the same text. The fun­da­men­tal op­er­a­tion here is the Levenshtein dis­tance.

Next week: Continue the ex­plo­ration (we’re mak­ing the books). Two weeks later (on the 28th) is an­other ses­sion that’s about what’s ac­tu­ally go­ing to be in the show.

I think me try­ing to find in­ter­est­ing text/​let­ter­form com­bi­na­tions is a bit con­trived. The more com­pelling thing is to pro­duce every pos­si­ble com­bi­na­tion of books (minus the orig­i­nals) and find­ing out where in­ter­est­ing co­in­ci­dences hap­pen. In other words:


The num­ber of books I need to make based on this prin­ci­ple is:

$$n_{\text{Books}} = (n_{\text{Sources}})^2 - n_{\text{Sources}} $$

So for 12 sources (which seems like a lot):

$$n_{\text{Books}} = 12^2 - 12 = 132$$

I guess the good thing is that I can just start mak­ing books (once I’ve writ­ten code to do that au­to­mat­i­cally) and keep adding sources un­til I run out of time.