Student work

Soap Type

Soap Type — Joan Hardt · ag
Soap Type — Joan Hardt · ag

Joan Hardt, Eric Guzman, Caner Dolgun +

ARTC 4305 (Typography III) #senior | 2017 | Turkey · Texas, USA

17S_ARTC4305_P2_SoapType_Outline (pdf)

The task challenges students to draw a sans serif typeface starting from a given serif (LT Sabon), then to edit the drawings on-screen and present two products: a specimen poster of the whole sans (upper case, lower case, figures) and a sample of 12 types — OHvideospang — each cut into a block of soap.

Since 2009, “Soap Type” is both a journey into cutting letterforms and an educational fun project I authored to learn about curves and optical adjustments, and subtractive design. Well… it is fundamental for designers-to-be to know that letters are things, not pictures of things. Good for a clean portfolio piece, too!

The exercise is published in Taking a Line for a Walk: Assignments in Design Education, Spector Books,, Leipzig, Germany; the book was released as part of the 2016 Brno Biennale, Czech Republic, and was reviewed and listed by Design Observer in the 2017 Required Reading.

The project was presented at TypeCon 2017 Boston.

Material: Pencil, paper, Illustrator, Fontlab, soap bars, masking tape, carving tools.