UK’s first student type foundry is ‘font’ of knowledge

The University of Salford has created the country’s first repository to showcase unique, creative typefaces designed by students from Salford and across the UK.

Salford Type Foundry (STF) has been developed by the University’s Graphic Design students and lecturer Tim Isherwood to provide a home initially for Salford student fonts, with students designing and building the Foundry’s website at www.salfordtypefoundry.co.uk to promote their work to the creative industries and beyond.

Each student submitting a font has a page displaying the typeface/s they have created, including descriptions of how the font was produced, plus links to their personal websites and blogs to encourage collaboration and the commissioning of fonts from professionals.

Future plans include opening Salford Type Foundry to students from other universities and educational institutions and offering downloadable typefaces free of charge.

Final year Graphic Design student George Dunkley, who designed the website, said: “Working on Salford Type Foundry has been an excellent way for me to put the skills I’m learning into context. I’ve been able to create the design of the website, using feedback from other students as a guide, in terms of how the site needed to function and look.

“I’m very pleased with the results and it’s exciting to be a part of a project that has real, concrete results.”

Tim Isherwood explained: “Salford Type Foundry is a space for experimental fonts that would otherwise be left languishing on hard drives or in sketchbooks and never able to flaunt their features or personality.

“Typography offers students an opportunity to explore their creativity within a specified format. It requires an understanding and appreciation of the building blocks of language, which can then be manipulated through imagination, perseverance and awareness – all excellent qualities to demonstrate to potential employers.”

New fonts will be uploaded three times a year from University of Salford students and those from other institutions. In addition to providing free downloadable fonts in future, the project team is also looking at giving short courses in type design.”

Salford Type Foundry launched on 21 November, and student and industry guests were invited to celebrate the work on show, offering an opportunity to see typefaces exhibited and explore the website.

You can view some of the fonts in the gallery below (click on an image to see a larger version.)

Alex Holland Emily Waddecar George Dunkley Mike Hayes Oliver Fletcher Simon Walsh Tom Howard