Presentation of Student Projects in the Post Diploma “Typography & Language”

The entrance to the ESAD in Amiens

I am currently doing an internship at Typofonderie, you may have already seen the article I wrote: Escape to the KABK describing the open doors of this school. Well, once again, I took a short break in February 2012 to discover a type design course. I went to the ESAD in Amiens, the city of beets, brick walls and cold. Indeed, in recent years, ESAD offers a Master of 15 months called “Typography & Language”. There are excellent teachers and speakers, as Patrick Doan, Sebastien Morlighem, Titus Nemeth, Thomas Huot-Marchand or Olivier Nineuil , a fine team passionated about typeface design.

Samples of Phynong typeface. In the center, Thomas Huot-Marchand and Kim Chorong discussing the project.

Student projects:

Here, the class is very small because there are only five students per year, however, the promotions of two different years cohabit for a few months because their training last 15 months.
Once again, students come from far away because this promo is made up of Sarah Kremer (France), Sonia Da Rocha (France & Portugual), Chorong Kim (South Korea), Fan Ling (China) and Đan Ca Phạm (Vietnam). Throughout the diploma-day I attended, students presented their type design project to the jury and audience for about an hour. Each student commented on his presentation on “screen” and then answered questions from the jury and finally showed his specimens on the wall of the room.

Asmaa – Sonia Da Rocha.

Latin/Arabic typeface created by Sonia Da Rocha.

The name of this typeface refers to Asmaa Mahfouz, an Egyptian activist, winner of the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought who has played an important role in the Arab Spring. This typeface evokes youth and wants to be open to other cultures. It is designed for bilingual texts Latin/Arabic. This family consists of four fonts: Asmaa Arabic, Asmaa cursive, Asmaa, and Asmaa Serif Italic.

Cadao – Đan Ca Phạm

Latin typeface extended to Vietnamese: Cadao by Đan Ca Phạm.

Cadao typeface was born from the following observation: the accents are very important in the Vietnamese writing to read properly, they reflect a variety of sounds and tones that can completely change the meaning of words. However, Vietnamese fonts with accents are often poorly managed, they create too dark or too light areas. Moreover, the letters h, u and n are very common in Vietnamese, which creates a monotony in the text that had to overcome.

Bartok – Sarah Kremer

Latin/Cyrillic typeface Bartok by Sarah Kremer.

Bartok is a family of four fonts: Bartok book and Bartok italic (a serif) ; Bartok highlight (a sans) and Bartok poster (a display sans). The serif version has the specificity to have asymmetrical serifs and some broken curves. The sans version is a sans serif grotesque quite bold, the “poster” version is a more danceable version than the “highlight”, more rigid.

Lingsong – Ling Fan

Latin/Chinese typeface Lingsong by Ling Fan.

Ling Fan has created a multi-script typeface, he started to work on the Chinese. His first work was to classify Chinese glyphs in three levels of complexity in terms of the number of strokes and has established three different widths, which did not exist before, because all these characters are included in a square. This modification promotes reading and rhythm in the lines of a text. Then, he worked in the match-making of the two writing systems mainly through the light weight of the typeface.

Phynong – Chorong Kim

Latin/Thaï typeface Phynong by Chorong Kim.

Chorong Kim embarked on creating a multi-script font Latin/Thai, to do so, she did extensive research and has even met a Thai type designer to be advised on the project. Her typeface consists of four fonts: regular and italic one for each of the two writing systems. There is a specificity: the italic version of Thai is a “real” italic rather than a leaning version that appears often in Thailand.

Once again, I spent a nice day full of typefaces and languages! It was fascinating to see how other writing systems work and the potential they contain. While this course is new and still has a long way to go before reaching the level and reputation of Reading or The Hague. I believe it has a good potential, in any case, students’ works and the comments of the jury can only further motivate future applicants!

Asmaa typeface by Sonia Da Rocha.


By Thierry Fétiveau, February 2012. All rights reserved.

The author

Thierry Fétiveau is a last year student in visual communication at GraphiCréatis school in Nantes. Was intern at Typofonderie in 2012.


Post Diploma Typography & Langage
ESAD from Amiens website
KABK website
Typemedia master
Sonia Da Rocha Portfolio