Carolina de Bartolo Talks Type at swissnex

Thursday evening several members of the FontShop San Francisco office attended a reception and talk at swissnex presented by design author and educator Carolina de Bartolo.

Carolina’s talk ‘To Explore = To Love’ toured the inspirations behind the typographic compositions in her book, Explorations in Typography. Through quotes and insights gained along the way, she guided us through her own exploratory process and encouraged those present to set up an area of typographic focus and find its limits.

The event was set among the exhibit Types We Can Make, a showing of the work of contemporary and classic Swiss type and typographic designers, like Adrian Frutiger and b+p.

Carolina stressed that exploration need not begin on the fringes of already-known work. The curious typographer can learn something from previously well-explored territory if she or he makes a point of it. It may be that a designer starts from the same place as another, or that two designers start from two very different places and end at a very similar result. “Start anywhere,” she added, noting that the destination and process of arriving to it are key.

A famous spread from the Nuremberg Chronicle composed by incunabula printing master Anton Koberger, an iPod.

The evening ended on much of the same note as it began. To explore means to get one’s own experience, and while this process can be cheered and directed, it isn’t taught by lecture. I think Carolina knows this limit well, which causes her to conclude as I do, that when we go out exploring the typographic expanse on our own, there’s no better explanation for it than love.

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