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Gunnlaugur SE Briem: Notes on type design

Would you like to make your own?

Take your characters and turn them into fonts. Create lettershapes that work together, and print them. Sounds like fun? It can be.

The skills of designing letters can be learned, just like other skills. The techniques of fitting them together are no secret. The tools are better than they used to be. Alchemy probably helps, but managing without that is the purpose of orderly work. You can digitize almost any shape you imagine. The big question is this. What do you want?

Sentimental journey

In 1996, I taught a short type design course at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.

I was delighted when Steen Ejlers invited me. Two hundred years earlier, in 1796, my great-great-grandfather, Gunnlaugur Gudhbrandsson frá Brjánslæk, had graduated with silver from the sculpture department. (He noticed that foreigners had trouble with his last name, and changed it to Briem.)

My students were wonderful. In time, I will upload much of what I told them, and some points we didn’t have time for.

Gunnlaugur SE Briem

Notes on type design. Copyright © 1998, 2001, 2022 Gunnlaugur SE Briem. All rights reserved. Republished with permission in 2022 by Fontlab Ltd.