Since its creation in 1538, the Imprimerie Nationale in Paris has hosted non-Latin typefaces: among the treasures of its collection are the Grecs du Roy, cut by Claude Garamont between 1546–1550, and the Buis du Régent, 86,000 Chinese woodcut characters from 1715–1742. But it is in the nineteenth century that the IN’s ‘oriental’ collection, hosted by its Cabinet des poinçons, grew exponentially to cover more than sixty writing-systems, for a total of a hundred designs — and hundreds of thousands glyphs.
As the French typographic industry almost disappeared in the 1970s with the closure of its four major foundries, the government reacted in 1985 with the creation of a new training program, named Atelier national de création typographique (ANCT), hosted at the Imprimerie Nationale.
Now called ANRT and based in Nancy, the program has become a very active postgraduate research course. Although it now runs independently from the Imprimerie Nationale, it carries on its original mission: to create typefaces for academic purposes, in partnership with research laboratories in the fields of linguistics, Egyptology, paleography, etc – thus enabling students to explore various forms of writing, beyond Latin.
This talk will provide a brief history of ANRT’s origins, and an overview of its research objectives in the field of Latin and non-Latin type design, and digital humanities. It will be followed by a 1h workshop: a short introduction on the basic principles of type design and how to make a font, using the font editor Glyphs.