Doctoral Degree Frank Blokland

Type and Media (ma) Research

On Tuesday October 11th, ACPA’s PhD-candidate Frank Blokland will publicly defend his thesis “On the origin of patterning in movable Latin type: Renaissance standardisation, systematisation, and unitisation of textura and roman type”.

This defense will take place at 11.15 AM in the Academiegebouw, Rapenburg 73 Leiden. From 18.00 till 21.00 PM that evening there will be a reception at the Academiegebouw .

Prior to his defense, on Monday October 10th, Frank Blokland will give a lecture on the subject of his thesis at 17.00 PM in Museum Meermanno, The Hague. This lecture will also include a short presentation of Frank Blokland’s (former) students in which they will present some of his models in software and typography.

10 October 2016, 17:00 (doors open 16.30) — Museum Meermanno, Prinsessegracht 30, The Hague, the Netherlands
11 October 2016, 11:15 — Academiegebouw, Rapenburg 73, Leiden, the Netherlands
Entrance is free for both events.

Frank Blokland's PhD-research

Blokland’s PhD-research at Leiden University is conducted to test the hypothesis that Gutenberg and consorts developed a standardised and even unitised system for the production of textura type, and that this system was extrapolated for the production of roman type in Renaissance Italy. For roman type, Humanistic handwriting was moulded into a prefixed standardised system already developed for the production of gothic type. This was possible because there is an intrinsic morphological relationship between the structures of the written textura quadrata and the Humanistic minuscule.

Renaissance typographic patterning was in part determined by prerequisites for the production of type. The typographic conventions are not purely the result of optical preferences predating the invention of movable type but are also the result of the standardisation of characters in the Renaissance type production. By mapping the underlying harmonic and rhythmic aspects, we gain more insight into what exactly the creative process in type design comprises, and what its constraints are. Furthermore, it makes the parameterisation of digital type-design processes possible.

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