On 11 and 12 January, NoFoundry hosted a 30-hour type marathon for students across Europe. NoFoundry was developed by the students of Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in Germany as a way to discuss contemporary font publication. Over time, it has developed into a platform for the distribution and exchange of student typefaces; showcasing the professionalism and dedication of design students across Europe.
As a platform, NoFoundry aims to promote the hard-earned efforts of students, it encourages a network of collaborative young designers while simultaneously providing a platform to exhibit and buy fonts from other students. As the community has developed, NoFoundry hosted its first type-marathon called Saturday Type Fever. For 30 hours, 80 students along with professional typographers from across Europe gathered at the university to participate in typographic activities over the marathon’s period.
Students and designers from Germany, Belgium, Estonia, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands came together to help complete unfinished fonts or work on various one-day type projects. On top of these design collaborations, the event also connected design students from across the continent, creating a “lively exchange between apprentice typographers and designers”, explains NoFoundry’s co-founder Nina Overkott.
With guest designers such as the design duo Johnson/Kingston, Reto Moser, Charlotte Rohde, Tatjana Stürmer, Jérémy Landes and Simon Knebl, to name a few, Saturday Type Fever kicked off on the Friday at 6 pm, carrying on until midnight of Saturday the following day. During the marathon, analogue type workshops went underway, talks were held (by students or otherwise), and feedback sessions for newly designed fonts allowed participants to openly discuss their works with others.
Nina further explains: “The designers worked in groups of four to seven people. Every ten hours, a zine was produced from each group which recorded the experience of each participant.” At the end of the marathon, these process zines were exhibited as a proud result of the participant’s efforts, featuring a great number of fonts, old and new. In the hopes of releasing NoFoundry’s “first ever external font in the catalogue” this March, the collective’s first font will undoubtedly benefit from the hoards of individual designers that have communally shared their ideas and designs with the rest of the group. Testing their technical abilities, as well as their human limits through 30 hours of work, NoFoundry’s devotion to exploring the possibilities of collaborative type design is evident through this student-led endeavour.
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