Type design has become a virtualised, one-man/woman profession. Designers can potentially do everything themselves from initial sketches to post-production and web optimisation of their typefaces. Besides many benefits (such as working in pyjamas all day) it can also make type people feel detached and lose touch with a wider context of their work. Rosetta – the foundry with a strong focus on multi-script typography operated by David Březina and co-founded with José Scaglione and Veronika Burian – does not subscribe to that and took a deliberate action to remedy such potential apathy.
Unlike some other independent foundries, Rosetta does not have one or two central designers. It functions as a cooperative hub which makes it particularly effective when it comes to designing type for non-Latin scripts. One or two people pretending they know everything about everything would not be any good in such an environment. A larger circle of designers, consultants, and friends who have fun working together under Rosetta is much more useful. Rosetta value their designers and enjoy collaborating with them. In order to further foster this basic setup the foundry came up with the concept of Rosetta camp, a yearly gathering of designers who release their fonts with Rosetta.
The first Rosetta camp took place near its headquarters in Brno (Czech Republic) this September. From the beginning, the intention was to provide 50/50 lifestyle conditions, that is 50% socializing and 50% work. Rosetta believe that only in such an environment the human brain can operate at its best and come up with ground-breaking ideas just about everything. But mainly, they focussed on strategic planning, finishing and presenting new merchandise, sessions about Arabic and Multiple Master production, show-and-tell on Czech type history, and type design art direction and mutual feedback sessions. The socialising half need not be detailed here, but rest assured that all major beverage providers were carefully assessed.
Besides its new Arabic poster and multi-script pencil Rosetta also introduced an ideal libation for type collaboration – a complementary beer to the Skolar type family, hand-made and lovingly supervised by the Skolar author himself. This release is an attempt to break off from the generally extremely stiff approach to type families. As far as we know Skolar is now the first type family extending not only beyond writing systems, but also beyond type. Unfortunately for the FontFeed readers, this to-be-merchandise was consumed in its entirety during the camp.
Next year, the foundry hopes to connect the Rosetta camp with the TypeTalks mini-conference in Brno and allow more public participation (e.g. in workshops). Get in touch if you would like to join them.