2020 research programmes
The Missing scripts 2020
Unicode has become an essential character-encoding standard for exchanging texts electronically. Unicode 13 encompasses 150 different writing systems, and more than 139 000 characters: its ambition is to include all the scripts of humanity.
The decodeunicode.org website, started in 2005 by Johannes Bergerhausen, and its associated book « decodeunicode Schriftzeichen die der Welt » (ed. Hermann Schmidt) gives a fascinating insight into the richness and diversity of the scripts covered by Unicode.
And yet, more than a hundred writing systems are still missing from Unicode. Jenticha, Kulitan, Garay (Wolof), Ranjana (Lantsa), Mayan Hieroglyphs… minority scripts, sometimes ancient or undeciphered (but not necessarily complex in their design), which are still awaiting to be approved by the Unicode Consortium.
The aim of the Script Encoding Initiative (SEI) at the University of Berkeley is to provide the linguistic expertise required to submit new proposals for these writing systems to Unicode. Many of these scripts have never existed in a typographic form, and display some very interesting shapes: they represent a kind of unexplored territory for type designers.
The Missing Scripts project aims to support the SEI’s proposals to Unicode, through the design of typefaces for the missing entries. To achieve this, a multi-year research program is implemented, based on a classification by Johannes Bergerhausen, who established different levels of complexity for these scripts, based on the SEI database. The work will be conducted over a number of years, combining several levels of expertise: linguistics (SEI, Berkeley), type design (ANRT) and graphic design / mediation (decodeunicode, Hochschule Mainz).
The Missing Scripts programme will focus, from Octobe 2020 to March 2022, on the following scripts: YEZIDI, AFÁKA, SHARADA, DIVES AKURU, TOTO, BOOK PAHLAVI.
Desired profile for the application:
- Interest in Latin and non-Latin type design (specify which writing system)
- English spoken
- Good organisational skills
Visiting professors & experts:
Pr Johannes Bergerhausen, Hochschule Mainz (DE) / decodeunicode.org
Dr Deborah Anderson, Université de Berkeley (USA) / Script Encoding Initiative
The Unicode consortium
Hans Jürg Hunziker Archives, 1950-2006
How to classify and archive a collection of typographic work and type design from a period spanning more than 5 decades? This research program, based on the personal archives of Hans Jurg Hunziker, will propose a classification methodology in a field that is still little addressed. It will help build an easy-to-access, on-site and online research platform, and a retrospective publication.
Hans Jurg Hunziker, instructor at the ANRT from 1990 to 2006, will help the student-researcher to understand, classify and digitize documents. They will be presented by a notice placing them in their historical, cultural, social and technical context.
In partnership with the Bibliothèque cantonale Vadiana, Saint Gall
Typeface designer and typographer, Hans-Jürg Hunziker trained as a typesetter and typographer in Zurich before attending the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule in Basel in 1965, where he met Jan Tschichold, Emil Ruder, Armin Hoffmann and André Gürtler. He later travelled to Brooklyn to start working for the Mergenthaler Linotype Company, where he developed typefaces for phototypesetting under the direction of Matthew Carter (1967-71). In 1971 he joined Adrian Frutiger’s studio, where he contributed (among other projects) to the Roissy airport signage typeface, later released as Frutiger. In 1974 he designed for Visual Design (Jean Widmer & Ernst Hiestand) the CGP typeface for the identity of the Centre George Pompidou. From 1980-83, as part of a United Nations Development Project, he designed some Arabic typefaces and taught typeface design at Institut de recherche et d’étude pour l’arabisation in Rabat, Morocco. Back in Paris, he worked as a freelance designer and co-founded Atelier H together with Ursula Held in 1998. He designed several books and catalogues for the Centre Georges Pompidou, Cité de la Musique, Institut du Monde Arabe and Bibliothèque nationale de France. Between 1999 and 2002, he designed the corporate typeface for Siemens, a project of exceptional scale: 3 styles, Sans Serif and Slab, in three weights, with accompanying italics. The fonts, developed in collaboration with URW, cover a very large number of writing systems: Latin, Arabic, Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Traditional and Simpli ed Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, etc. Hans-Jürg Hunziker taught at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Zurich until 2014, as well as Atelier national de recherche typographique between 1990 and 2006.