2019 Typographic retreat in Vicchio

May 2019

Each year the core TypeTogether team reconnects at a work retreat in an invigorating location. This year we enjoyed the mountain views of Vicchio, Italy, about an hour away from Florence.

 

From Beijing to Kansas City, the TypeTogether team is spread around the globe. We rely heavily on Internet-based tools and a certain knack for keeping track of different time zones to create a fluent and fun collaborative environment.

Every year we organize a one-week gathering in which we all travel to a chosen location to discuss type and typography, learn from each other, and have a ton of fun. This time we travelled to Vicchio, a small town in the heart of Italy’s Tuscan region. We met the 2019 Gerard Unger Scholarship recipient Florian Fecher via a video chat, discussed some of our upcoming releases, had two workshops and a masterclass, and, most importantly, had a great time together as always.


 

From left to righ, top to bottom: Zhao Liu, Joshua Farmer, José Scaglione, Veronika Burian, Pooja Saxena, Elena Veguillas, Linda Kudrnovská, Irene Vlachou, Joancarles Casasín, Roxane Gataud, Azza Alameddine, and Rabab Charafeddine. Not pictured: Tiki the Traveler. Photo: Elena Veguillas & Rabab Charafeddine.

 

Throughout the week we had discussions about improving workflow, the general focus of the company, ideas to build ongoing relationships, the bright future of the Gerard Unger Scholarship, obscure ’80s political references, upcoming type families, how misunderstanding can fuel humour, and, of all the randomness, searching for ’90s rock bands that used variable technology in their videos. 

We scheduled a masterclass on Devanagari by Pooja Saxena and two workshops: variable fonts by Irene Vlachou and Arabic logo matching by Azza Alameddine.


devanagari masterclass with pooja saxena

On the first day of our annual get-together in Vicchio, Pooja’s masterclass gave insight into the Devanagari script and how that impacts the creation and production of such a complex written language. Though the discussion began with looking at vernacular lettering on signs and in books, it got real deep real quick as we talked about conjunct combinations, best practices, encoding, and future Devanagari designs. Favourite new word: halant, the vowel-killer, shown with a slashed stroke, that is infinitely harder to design than at first imagined.


Arabic masterclass & workshop with azza alamedDine

Azza began her workshop with an overview of Arabic writing styles, their history and use, and the current state of Arabic logo design, especially in multiscript application. She then had us choose a well-known logo, find the closest Arabic script that matched the historic use and tone, and create the Arabic counterpart ourselves. Finally, we matched the visual appearance of the logo by refining its weight, contrast, and width. It was obvious to see how we all advanced from general knowledge to practical application and fine-tuning — an eye-opening exercise we all enjoyed.




variable fonts masterclass & workshop with irene vlachou

Irene’s variable font workshop began with an update of advances over the past few years, the format’s capabilities, and its exciting and somewhat unknown future. We continued by sketching ideas on paper to work out the design space logistics without resorting to the “boring normal, but official” axes of weight, width, optical size, italic, and slant. (It can be tricky!) Then we created the necessary masters to bring it to life. Several trials later, everyone had a perfectly functioning typeface with over 500 glyphs. Or something like that. Maybe.




 

Italy was of course beautiful and our villa supplied jealousy-inducing views, comfortable common areas for spontaneous conversations, and the seclusion necessary to make headway on projects. Speaking of, we have some incredible work coming up. We’ve cemented the rest of the year and made solid plans for the next 18 months. You can expect expansions, new work targeted for specific categories, and continued educational content.

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About Us

TypeTogether is an indie type foundry committed to excellence in type design with a focus on editorial use. Additionally, TypeTogether creates custom type design for corporate use. We invite you to browse our library of retail fonts or contact us to discuss custom type design projects.