TYPO Labs 2018 – This was day two

TYPO Labs day two revealed that there is increased demand for tools that build bridges between professionals and across disciplines to fully unfold the potential of new Font Technologies. We’ve selected three of the day’s many highlights for you.


TYPO Labs 2018

TYPO Labs 2018

After the cheerful BBQ and ending of day one, one might have started the second day of TYPO Labs with an extra dose of coffee to get ready for more hands-on and future savvy input on technology, trends and tools.


Beyond the bubble: Talking Variable Fonts to web designers – Laurence Penney

In the font world we’re all fired up about Variable Fonts, and we are not alone in the world! According to Laurence Penney’s enlightening opening speech of day two, we have to begin a conversation about Variable Fonts with typography’s new vanguard: CSS and JavaScript front-end developers.

In his talk about wins in efficiency, tweakability and responsiveness Laurence discussed efficient deployment techniques with fallback to static fonts. “We spec the new typography by writing CSS. Front-end developers are the most important typographers working today” underlines Laurence in his call for a two-way dialogue.


Creating successful AR/VR experiences with text – Vivek Vadakkuppattu

While AR/VR is in many ways still in its infancy, clear trends are emerging in the ways and means brands and their agencies are leveraging the technology. Early pioneers tended to shoot first and ask questions later. Vivek Vadakkuppattu, Product Management Director for AR/VR at Monotype, showed how these new technologies are finding their way into mainstream more and more.

“What we need to introduce to the new technology of VR/AR is a killer app – an easy way for people to consume content. When you build an experience it has to work on $200 and $2000 devices alike. Mind the device fragmentation.” advises Vivek whilst showing practical guidelines on how to create AR/VR experiences containing text that is legible, localized and dynamic at the same time.

The AR/VR Font plugin for the Unity development platform can be downloaded for free on the Monotype website.


An introduction to tools and shapes – Panel discussion with Gerry Leonidas, Ferdinand Ulrich, Verena Gerlach, Malou Verlomme and Fred Smeijers

After a brief introduction by typographer and type researcher Ferdinand Ulrich on tools and shapes before PostScript we brought together Gerry Leonidas, Verena Gerlach, Malou Verlomme and Fred Smeijers in a lively panel discussion.

The core question of the debate was wether or not the industry is longing for new models in authorship and log files to trace knowledge exchange in creative processes. The vital discussion showed that collaboration is at stake more than ever: Professionals are thirsty for experiments but have to think about whom to assign what role in the creation of new Fonts and Technologies.

We are stepping into a new era and we have to use new possibilities of collaboration between Font Design and Programming. It’s a question of attitude that surely has to be observed and further discussed.

Photos: Norman Posselt

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