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LUC DEVROYE


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Eric Kindel

Eric Kindel is a designer, writer and Lecturer in the Department of Typography&Graphic Communication at The University of Reading. He lives in London. Eric Kindel's project at Central Saint Martins College of Art&Design (London) includes an on-line survey of typeforms.

At ATypI in Rome in 2002, he spoke about stencil letters ca. 1700. This talk was followed by a talk on the same topic at ATypI 2006 in Lisbon (with Fred Smeijers). His research (jointly with Fred Smeijers, James Mosley and Andrew Gillmore) involves stencil making, ca. 1700 according to an apparatus escribed in a late seventeenth-century text compiled by Gilles Filleau des Billettes for the French Royal Academy of Sciences. He also researches the Parisian stencil maker Gabriel Bery, from whom Benjamin Franklin purchased a large set of letter stencils and decorative borders in 1781. The stencil set survives in the collections of the American Philosophical Society (APS) in Philadelphia, and was first examined in 2001 as part of the project described above. Editor of Typeform dialogues: a comparative survey of typeform history and description, compiled at Central Saint Martins College of Art&Design (Hyphen Press, 2004), which has articles by himself and Catherine Dixon (who writes on type classification). He describes his research on stencil letters at Reading as follows: The period under consideration begins in the sixteenth century and ends in the present day. The intention is to recover, if possible, a relatively continuous history of stencil letters and stencilling (in the Americas and Europe) by drawing together artefacts and practices that are in many cases now largely forgotten. In addition to forming a broad view of how stencil letters have been designed, made and used over the past five centuries, specific practices will also be examined through an on-going series of articles and papers. The first, `Marked by time', was published in issue 40 of Eye magazine: it offered two contrasting instances of stencil letter-making in Germany and the United States in the mid-twentieth century. Another, `Stencil work in America, 1850-1900', was published in Baseline 38 and unearths innovations in the manufacture and use of stencils in America in the second half of the nineteenth century, and the stories of some of their makers. The article also draws on the writings of Mark Twain for whom stencils served as a literary device on several occasions. And a third, longer, article `Recollecting stencil letters' has been published in Typography papers 5. It discusses the many forms stencil letters take, and how their form is influenced by a number of factors. The article is based on the study of period writings and MSS., patent specifications, collected artefacts and other primary documents and materials. See also Patents progress: the Adjustable Stencil (Journal of the Printing Historical Society, no. 9, 2006). In Typography papers 7, he wrote about another stencil method in a paper entitled The Plaque Découpée Universelle: a geometric sanserif in 1870s Paris (2010).

Speaker at ATypI 2011 in Reykjavik on the topic of stencils. Speaker at ATypI 2013 in Amsterdam: Futura Black, circa 1860. Speaker at ATypI 2016 in Warsaw on The stencilled poster in Paris in the 19th century.

In 2013, Christopher Burke, Eric Kindel and Sue Walker co-edited the wonderfully informative book Isotype Design and Contexts 1925-1971 (Hyphen Press), which includes a full discussion of Otto Neurath's work.

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Type personalities ⦿ Stencil fonts ⦿ Studying type design ⦿ Books on type design ⦿ Type design in the United Kingdom ⦿













Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html