Type News

Berlin Design Night 2015

June 16, 2015 by
Jürgen Siebert
Jürgen Siebert

Last Friday, 12 June 2015, 93 design studios in Berlin opened their doors between 7 and midnight for a night shift – “Nachtschicht” in German, the nickname of the 4th Berlin Design Night, organized by Create Berlin. For the third time, Monotype’s FontFont and TYPO Talks teams welcomed visitors to attend workshops, presentations and typographic experiments in their office at Bergmannstraße 102.

For many the highlight of the night was the creative deployment of a Roland Pen plotter, a machine that was originally used for printing architectural plans back in the 80s. The FontFont tech team hacked it, retooling the plotter into a calligraphic robot by replacing the radiographs with ink pens. This allowed them to send any text set in monoline fonts to the device which then quickly printed gorgeous A3-size certificates with a handwritten look.

Instead of plotting technical drawings, the FontFont team had the Roland Pen plotter output handwritten text set as centerlines on the screen. The 8-pen magazine was equipped with calligraphy pens in different thicknesses and colors. FontFont intern Gergely Kokai’s contribution was a broken typeface, Jens Kutilek offered his FF Hertz as Hertz Monospace, and Bernd Vollmer provided his calligraphic handwriting and some older typefaces as centerline fonts.
Instead of plotting technical drawings, the FontFont team had the Roland Pen plotter output handwritten text set as centerlines on the screen. The 8-pen magazine was equipped with calligraphy pens in different thicknesses and colors. FontFont intern Gergely Kokai’s contribution was a broken typeface, Jens Kutilek offered his FF Hertz as Hertz Monospace, and Bernd Vollmer provided his calligraphic handwriting and some older typefaces as centerline fonts.

The retooled Roland Pen plotter hacked by the FontFont tech team churns out gorgeously machine-written A3-size certificates.
The retooled Roland Pen plotter hacked by the FontFont tech team churns out gorgeously machine-written A3-size certificates.

Plotting colorful multi-line text. Photo: © Clemens Carlstedt
Plotting colorful multi-line text. Photo: © Clemens Carlstedt

Those who preferred writing truly by hand, using pens or brushes, were given the choice between a calligraphy workshop with Andreas Frohloff (FontFont) or a lettering course with Ulrike Rausch (LiebeFonts).

Participant of the calligraphy workshop.
Participant of the calligraphy workshop.

Calligraphy workshop with FontFont’s head of Type Department Andreas Frohloff.
Calligraphy workshop with FontFont’s head of Type Department Andreas Frohloff.

For digital type designers, Georg Seifert (creator of the type design software Glyphs) presented his Mac application in two sessions. Amongst others Georg revealed time-saving short cuts, and wowed the Glyphs novices with his interpolation tricks, foreign language hacks, and a special filter for rounded typefaces.

Creator Georg Seifert presents his popular typeface design app Glyphs.
Creator Georg Seifert presents his popular typeface design app Glyphs.

Windows in the typeface design app Glyphs.
Windows in the typeface design app Glyphs.

There also was a 20-minute CreativeMornings Berlin talk about letters. Its topic was the letter Eszett, the unique consonant that is used in the German language only. Invited by CreativeMornings host Jürgen Siebert, Berlin-based designer Nadine Roßa revisited her talk The German B which she originally presented in April 2012, but this time in German. Her passion for this letter is still as strong and infectious as ever, and carried over to the audience whose questions during the Q&A at the end shed a new light on the Eszett.

Nadine Roßa extols the virtues of the German Eszett.
Nadine Roßa extols the virtues of the German Eszett.

Besides the workshops and presentations there was ample time for mingling over drinks and snacks. The successful nightly event attracted a total of 480 visitors.

Mingling over drinks and snacks.
Mingling over drinks and snacks.

Browsing the classic “Made with FontFont”.
Browsing the classic “Made with FontFont”.

FF Eggo in its element.
FF Eggo in its element.

All photographs by Norman Posselt except where noted.