CAN Events

A-B-Z-TXT – A School for 21st Century Typography

Building on the experience of our past educational programming at ACT Festival, Resonate, and Circle of Light, CAN has partnered to launch a new initiative in Toronto this August. Our first North American event, A-B-Z-TXT is a school for 21st century typography.

Education and knowledge exchange are keen interests of ours here at CAN; while sharing tutorials on the web is great, a focused workshop is definitely the best way to kickstart skills development. We are excited to announce our participation in A-B-Z-TXT, a four-day immersive typography school (for professionals and recent graduates) taking place August 18th-21st in Toronto. Arriving with some fanfare, A-B-Z-TXT proclaims “in the 21st century, it takes courage to release new typographic species. We must resist trends. We must embrace the history of typography, language and literature. We must experiment with new thinking, tools, and techniques.” These approaches for exploring the present (and future) of type will be catalyzed through “hands-on masterclasses, geeky lectures, group discussions, and far too much caffeine.” So, without further ado, here is some info about the guest instructors.

Leading two day-long masterclasses will be LUSTlab (NL) and N O R M A L S (FR). Architects of the immersive “Type/Dynamics” exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the designers behind Form+Code in Design, Art, and Architecture, LUSTlab (the R&D wing of LUST) thrive at the intersection of computation and print. Authors of an eponymous graphic novel series (which we proudly carry in our shop) and informed by forays into parametric typography and augmented fashion, N O R M A L S’ practice is truly ‘anticipatory.’ Both longtime favourites of CAN, the two studios are uniquely qualified to lead exercises hypothesizing how to bring typographic traditions into the future – on pages, screens, or in environmental design.

Bloomberg Businessweek from June 2012, The New Design Smell Issue Nº 0, an interface gradient, and Quit, India – all handiwork from the A-B-Z-FACULTY

We are also excited to welcome Tracy Ma and Steph Davidson from New York City, who will lead a lecture and workshop. Representing the print and web teams from the phenomenal Bloomberg Businessweek, Tracy and Steph playfully push with the limits of what you can do (and what you can get away with) with type on page, in pixels, and as GIFs. Parachuting in from Hamilton, we’ll be joined by book designer Lauren Wickware who will lead the group with a lecture and ‘tweezer typography’ workshop. Tracy, Steph and Lauren typeset with with intelligence, humour, and conceptual rigour. Even a few drop shadows, or spot colours. Finally, the A-B-Z-HOST will be noted Toronto designer Michèle Champagne who will weave a hybrid media attitude and critical voice throughout the school. She will lecture and instigate typography as image and identity, from Penguin redesigns to street postering and Rob Ford electoral aesthetics.

We’ll be announcing the full lineup of masterclasses, workshops, and lectures for A-B-Z-TXT in early June. For now, go to the events’ website and sign up to its mailing list to receive notification when we post our open call for participants.