IRENE VLACHOU (GR)
Residency period: February-June 2022
During one semester, the first-year students of the MA in Type Design of ECAL work with a different script; different from Latin, that they use daily here, and different from their native one. Through this class they were called to explore the Greek script, from the typeface designer’s perspective. The method was perhaps a bit unorthodox; the students did not receive any set of rules to follow or good examples to study. Usually, the teaching of a new script is linked with rules and methodology that were established mainly for the Latin script and its typographic and calligraphic traditions. The harmonization of the new script with the Latin is always a priority and sometimes that might affect the quality of the new script. This time I wanted to give the students the “tools” to create their own methodology of how we approach and “decode” a new script, something that they can apply in the future in multiple disciplines and help them to be more versatile in their future practices. For this project I explored the relation between type and handwriting, teaching calligraphy and teaching basic writing and how all these disciplines and their interrelation can affect and help the comprehension and the mastery of an unfamiliar script. — Irene Vlachou
Irene Vlachou (b. 1981) gained her Master of Arts in Type Design at the University of Reading in 2004. She subsequently started to collaborate with international type foundries and corporations, working as a type designer and Greek type consultant. In 2012 she released Colvert Greek with typographies.fr. From 2013 to 2019 she was a senior designer and variable font expert at Type-Together. She has been participating since 2017 in the Google Summer of Code on behalf of the Greek Open-Source Community (GFOSS) as a mentor on the expansion of Greek libre fonts. She is currently working full time freelancing Greek and variable fonts for retail and OEM/System fonts. Vlachou is based in Athens, Greece.
Her work for clients includes Parmigiano Greek (2014, for Typotheque), LL Bradford Greek and LL Circular Greek (2017, both for Laurenz Brunner), Unica77 (2018, Lineto), Stratos Greek (2018, for Production Type) and Amstelvar (2020, for FontBureau).
In 2017 in collaboration with Laurenz Brunner, she designed the Greek counterpart of the Documenta14 exhibition’s identity font, Bradford Greek. She launched FauxFoundry (2019), together with Laurence Penney, a web font service using variable font technology that provides automatic fallback fonts when the main font lacks characters.
Photos Irene Vlachou