A Weekend with Typeface Designer Jan Tomáš

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Last week we said a heartfelt goodbye to typeface designer Jan Tomáš. Jan graciously agreed to come to Texas State, all the way from Prague, to give a lecture on his typeface designs, as well as put on a weekend workshop with our graduate students. We invited Jan to arrive a few days early so he would have time to explore the many delights Texas has to offer. Much of Jan’s work is inspired by the cities he visits, so we ensured he would receive the true Texas experience!

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Jan gave his Future Typo lecture on Thursday, April 9th. Jan’s powerful presentation on exploring type in both the two-dimensional and three-dimensional space was both intriguing and inspiring. The many students that attended also had the opportunity to ask questions and pick his brain on his designs, inspirations, and creative process. After the lecture, Jan’s work was on display for his gallery opening in the Flex Gallery. Attendees lingered to admire his work, ask questions, and have their pictures taken with Jan.

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The following weekend, Jan lead a workshop on Saturday and Sunday for a select group of MFA Communication Design students. The workshop kickstarted with an exercise titled, “T is for Texas”. The students were challenged to work with the letter “T” and visualize it in a way that resonated with Texas. Each student explored various aspects of what makes up Texas, and came up with many creative ideas, from a composition of bluebonnets to a collection of garbage and trash. This was a great exercise to get the creative juices flowing, but the true challenge would soon begin.

The workshop students were called upon to with create a Jan Tomáš styled treatment for the MFA Communication Design program. Each student was given a single letter in “Communication Design” and tasked with representing the letter in static form as well as in an animated state. Jan also received a letter of his own to work with. The group worked diligently over the weekend, with guidance from Jan, to put together the type treatment for the Communication Design program. After much hard work, critique, and refinement, the project finally came together with effective results.

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After a weekend of intense design, Jan and the students took a well deserved break to celebrate their accomplishments and share in fun and friendship. The group enjoyed a few hours of conversation, food, and even some impressive rounds of giant Jenga! The weekend was a lot of hard work, but it was time well spent. We say goodbye to Jan for now, but plan to work with him again in the near future.

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Thank you Jan Tomáš for your time and all of the wonderful and inspiring things you have shared with us!

Jan also shared his thoughts on the workshop experience, check out his blog here:
http://jantomas.com/mfa2015.php

 

 

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