⇣ Arina Sin

⇣ Benedikt Stranak

⇣ christine claussen

⇣ Daniel Rocha

⇣ Ekaterina Kirichuk

---Amount of Care---
⇣ Emi Takahashi

------Tendril State------
⇣ karolina krupickova

⇣ Kevin Ma

⇣ Kimberly Chuang

⇣ Liam Trumble

-------Ring Enclosure-------
⇣ Martin Sigler

-----State of Matter------
⇣ Melissa Frost

⇣ Nina Blažková / Robin

---------Shoe Height---------
-------Shoe Weight-------
⇣ Omar Careaga

⇣ Reed Jones

⇣ Ruth Ganzhorn

⇣ weronika wrzesinska

---------Body Work---------
⇣ Xuejie Zhou

--------Balloon Volume--------

How many layers of meaning can we embed into a variable glyph? In this workshop, we will explore the conceptual and poetic potential of variable font axes. Taking a personal object as a starting point, participants will design a superglyph which translates its formal, textural, emotional and/or symbolic qualities into one or several conceptual variable axes.

⇣ Workshop Schedule ⇣

  1. (3 min) Indigenous Land Acknowledgement, Native Land ⇢
  2. (3 min) Workshop Overview
  3. (3 min) Housekeeping

Creative Practice (15 min)

  1. (5 min) My Practice
  2. (10 min) Kachi-Buwa

Workshop Introduction (15 min)

  1. (5 min) Context
  2. (5 min) Conceptual Variable Fonts Overview (are.na ✶✶⇢)
  3. (5 min) Workshop Exercises Overview

~~~ 5 min break ~~~

Variable Fonts Resources

Site navigation:
  • Desktop: Hover over each section to unblur individual exercises. To view all exercises unblurred, move your cursor to the left side.
  • Mobile (Chrome only): Tap each section to unblur individual exercises. To view all exercises together, tap on the left side.

  • (10 min)
    Exercise 01: Object

    Choose an object as a source of inspiration for your glyph and variable axis.

    1. It can be personal or impersonal. Does it exist in your space?
    2. It can be inanimate or animate.
    3. Consider the physical, functional, sentimental, social or cultural properties that an object might hold.
    4. Consider looking around you, through the photo gallery on your phone, Wikipedia Commons or Modem Studio's image collection if you're not sure where to start.

    Outcome: Decide on an object and document it. The documented image can either be found or self-authored.

    (15 min)
    Exercise 02: Variable Axis

    Decide on at least one conceptual variable axis inspired by your chosen object.

    1. What would you like to suggest/reveal/communicate about your object?
    2. What aspect of your object is informing your variable axis? (e.g.: form, action, condition, texture, emotion, function, quality, quantity, time, etc.)
    3. Consider how the name of your variable axis relates to the two styles on the axis. Examples:
      • Axis: Weight ⇢ Styles: Light & Bold
      • Axis: Temperature ⇢ Styles: Hot & Cold
      • Axis: Glass ⇢ Styles: Empty & Full

    Outcome: Determine the following:

    1. Name of the variable axis
    2. Name of the styles on variable axis

    Submit and share your object image and variable axis names using this form.

    (10 min)
    Exercise 03: Glyph

    Determine the shape of your glyph. Start sketching it in your medium of preference.

    1. How does it relate to your object?
    2. Is it an existing glyph or letterform?
    3. Are you creating a new glyph?
    4. Is it a symbol or a metaphor?
    5. Consider what possibilities it will offer, relative to your variable axis.

    Outcome: Sketches of your glyph(s).

    (30 min)
    Exercise 04: Variable Glyph

    Create your variable glyph, applying the conceptual axis onto the glyph you established in Exercises 02 & 03.

    1. How does each axis extreme or style manifest visually?
    2. Consider how motion will affect your glyph when transitioning from one state to another. Is it subtle, contrasted, intense, revealing etc.?
    3. As a reminder, make sure that your font masters are compatible:
      • Same amount of paths, nodes and handles, anchors
      • All paths, nodes and handles must be in the same order
    4. Testing your variable glyph with DINAMO Font Gauntlet

    Outcome: Variable glyph drawn in Glyphs App.

    Submit animated or static documentation of your variable glyph using this form. (Note: It will be published online in a square space.) Resource: Video to GIF.

    ~~~~ 10 min break ~~~

    (20 min)
    Final: Short Presentations

    Share your variable axis and glyph with us!

    1. Participants give a 1 to 2-minute presentation of their object, variable axis, and final variable glyph.
    2. Please feel free to present your work how ever way you like. (Ex: using DINAMO Font Gauntlet to animate your glyph)
    3. Work in progress, process work, unfinished work is also highly encouraged!


    Share your glyph here :~)

    Work created during the workshop will be shared on the left side of this mini-site. If you haven’t had time during this workshop, please upload any of the outstanding following items through the forms below:

    1. Image of your object, names of your variable axis and/or name of your styles on variable axis (form)
    2. Glyph documentation: Looping screen recording, image or GIF of your final variable glyph. (form)

    Thank you Johanna Hammer & karolina krupickova from Studio Basic for generously inviting me to be a part of Collisions, Michelle Kuan & Marthe Métayer for your support.

    Typeface: Necto Mono by Marco Condello, courtesy of Collletttivo.

    Emi Takahashi ~ info@emitakahashi.ca website ig are.na