From the Point of View of a Trainee – Damien Collot

In our final post in the series, Damien Collot talks about what it was like to be a trainee font developer at Dalton Maag.

Damien during his training

Damien during his training

“I think the best way to learn typeface design is to start with calligraphy and drawing or painting, because with this method you keep the relationship between the hand and the eye, which is very important when designing a typeface. I was very happy that Dalton Maag’s training worked this way too. With calligraphy, you can quickly understand the relationship between the letters and structure. When you’re working on a digital typeface with hundreds of letters, it’s good to be able to understand the underlying spirit of the letter.

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Calligraphy practice

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Letter painting

“When I came to design my own typeface, I decided to do an incised, text typeface for books. I’ve tried to keep many of the features from calligraphy in it. I did a lot of research and chose what I think is the more exciting and challenging design, because I wanted to use it to get more experience. I’d like to see it in use in a book collection, although it could be quite nice if used for titling.

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Typeface in development

“It was great to have Ron Carpenter as my teacher and I am sad to have left the training team. He is always in motion. He is always ready for suggestions and discussions. With him I have had the time to think about my work, find solutions and see for myself what is wrong and what is good. If he has an idea, then he can explain exactly what he thinks, which is important when teaching.

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Ron working with Damien

“I have learnt how to improve my work, both in the very tiny details, and then in the complex typeface family conception. I think the most important things have been that I’ve learnt a lot of technical processes. I wasn’t familiar with the technical skills before. I now have a good idea of how typeface design works in the professional context, and I’m feeling more confident.”

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