“Soap Type” is both a journey into cutting letterforms and an assignment in design education authored by me for undergraduate students in graphic design. The project generates essential questions on the state of the craft, and in regard to metrics and typesetting.
The aim of the exercise is to draw a sans serif typeface starting from a given serif (Sabon LT). The hand made drawings of a few control characters are then edited on-screen and the final submission consists of two products: a specimen poster and a sample of twelve letters, each cut into a bar or block of soap.
The assignment was published in the book Taking a Line for a Walk: Assignments in Design Education (2016), edited by Nina Paim and Emilia Bergmark.
The project was presented at TypeCon 2017 Boston.
The learning that the process generates set the students to the side of the argument that there is no art without craft. I believe that education initiatives that determine the foundations upon which successful designs are built impact the way future designers understand their craft, and put more attention on learning how to learn.