Letters from LAVA and me

A few weeks back I reported on a workshop ‘Ontwerp je eigen lettertype met ontwerpbureau LAVA’ held at the Museum voor Communicatie in the Hague. I’ve been waiting impatiently since then to see the font ontwerpbureau Lava has made using the letters created during the workshop. The font is ready and can be downloaded from this page. The first thing I noticed – my ‘s’ is upside down! I suppose this is what they mean by ‘creative license’.

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LAVA alphabet 1

Lava@muscom (33), originally uploaded by Museum voor Communicatie.

These are the stencils for the first half of the alphabet. Note my ‘C’ (egg shaped because of Easter)

LAVA alphabet 2

Lava@muscom (42), originally uploaded by Museum voor Communicatie.

Here’s the second part of the new font, The letters have been spaypainted onto the canvas through the stencils. Here you can see the ‘S’ the right way up!

New LAVA Font

Easter was cold this year. On Easter day Bonny and I took a trip to the Hague to visit the Museum voor Communicatie. I’d seen a flyer for the expo: Eye opener – de kracht van beeldtaal and was also hoping to take part in the workshop: Ontwerp je eigen lettertype met ontwerpbureau Lava We’d been lucky to squeeze into a full tram going to Scheveningen just before the snow started to fall. Then we walked through the snow from the Javabrug to the Museum in the Zeestraat. It was good to get indoors and warm up again. We were on time to sign up for the workhop before it was full and to have a look at the exhibitions. The Museum voor Communicatie used to be called the PTT museum. It still has great stuff like a post sorting machine, telex, switchboard, and old telephones that you and your children can play with. The Eye opener expo was great, it really gets you thinking about the power of advertising, propaganda and anti-advertising. We’ll have to go back for another visit because we didn’t get to see everything before the workshop began at 2pm.

The workshop was given by two graphic designers from Lava, Jeroen and Jorgen. After a short PowerPoint presentation to get us inspired, they put us to work thinking up and sketching our own letter designs. The idea was to create a new font, upper and lower case letters, with stencil letters drawn by the 22 workshop participants. We did our best but didn’t manage complete sets of upper and lower case letters. We finished up with a full mixed case alphabet and a few bits of punctuation. We drew the best designs (2 of my letters were voted into the alphabet!) onto marquette carton and then cut out the stencils. Jeroen and Jorgen carefully spray-painted the stencils onto a white canvas. They made two copies, one for the museum, one for Lava. At Lava our font will be photographed and digitally reworked into a workable font. The museum is also taking photos of our work to be published on Flickr. I’m looking forward to seeing the completed font in about 2 weeks. Bonny had a great time and so did I. I can recommend this museum to anyone with Kids.

This workhop is one of the Open Studio workhops organised by the museum this spring. The workshops are free, you just pay the museum entry fee. You can’t sign up in advance for a workshop, it’s first come first served, so get there early to avoid disappointment. If you’d like to visit the museum for free and attend a free workshop, then you could go on Sunday the 6th of April in the national Open Museum Week.