Sehr schicke Abschlussarbeit über automatisierte Schriftgestaltung von Daniel Wenzel an der HTWG Konstanz. In der Arbeit gibt Wenzel einen Überblick über Methoden der Automatisierung während der unterschiedlichen Arbeitsschritte des Type Design (Form, Systematics, Extension, Refinement, Variation) und wendet derzeit übliche Automatisierungstechnologien (Batch-Verarbeitung, Scripting, AI) in allen möglichen Gestaltungsprogrammen von FontForge über Photoshop bis Cinema4D auf eigene Schriften an.
The attempt was to use automated processes to create fonts or font designs. Tools which are designed for type design were used, as well as self-created or misused programs to simulate processes which are not possible with conventional type design tools.
Using these tools and the process of type design, it was possible to create over 100 fonts and font designs over a period of three months, in addition to the written elaboration and research. These can be roughly divided into five categories:
1. fonts by variation
Some fonts were created solely by the step of variation, comparable to FF Blur by Neville Brody. Although these are the fastest designs, they are also the least suitable for continuous text due to the drastic changes required.
2. fonts through limited tools
Since “Full-Service” font generators like “Prototypo”, “DLT LetterModeler” or “FontArk” already exist, they have also been used to create a handful of designs. However, in these cases form and systematics are strongly determined or limited by the programs. “Making smarter things also means that the tool takes decisions away from the designer. That is ok if I write my own, it is problematic when someone else’s tools take away decisions from me.” [Erik van Blokland]
3. fonts by “Art Direction”
With the fact that the craft is more easily computerized than the idea, the Description Language “Metafont”, for example, can be used as a kind of craft assistant. Instead of drawing the curves by hand, one describes the font in mathematical formulas.
4. fonts with the help of assistive processes
“I know many colleagues who use iKern […] but would never admit that in public.” [Ferdinand Ulrich] Contrary to this statement, every tool possible was used to reduce or facilitate work for the designs. You can, for example, simulate a brush in Illustrator, create form analogies using components or use Inter- and Extrapolation to draw new weights, generate subscript or superscript and make optical corrections.
5. fonts with the help of autonomous processes
Finally, the question arose as to whether artificial processes can create or stimulate new ideas. For this purpose, autonomous processes were used as assistive tools. By training a neural network with the help of generated data sets and automatic form linking paired with manual selection, AI fonts were created that indeed appear contemporary and new (instead of a blend of the existing).