Petra Dočekalová is a graduate of the Typography Studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Her calligraphy thesis, in which she developed her own handwritten scripts, has recently won two prestigious international awards, including the certificate of Typographic Excellence 2017 from the Type Directors Club. I met with Petra Dočekalová in her studio, hidden in a backyard just a few steps from Prague’s Old Town Square, and I first asked her why she chose calligraphy as the topic of her thesis:
A new memorial to the world famous graphic designer and artist Ladislav Sutnar has just been unveiled in his birthplace Pilsen. The enlarged set of bright building blocks for kids, designed by Sutnar in the 1920’s, is located in front of Pilsen’s Faculty of Design and Art and is part of a long-term project aimed at reviving Sutnar’s memory in his homeland.
Type design is an ancient art enjoying a renaissance in the computer age. The specificities of writing systems that were once passed down from master to apprentice can now be worked with by designers anywhere in the world who have the patience and the talent to take on a foreign script. One such designer is David Březina, one of the founders of the Brno type foundry Rosetta. In 2008 his Skolar type family received international recognition and he is now working on a font for the Gujarati writing system, used by over 60 million people in the Indian
Czech children spend a considerable part of their first year at school learning to write, more so than their contemporaries in Britain or France. That’s because in Czech handwriting joined-up letters are very different from printed letters, with an emphasis on perfectly formed, slanted letters with lots of loops and twirls. Now, it looks like learning to write may become easier. A young Czech graphic artist has come up with a new set of letters, based on printed letters rather than the cursive style:
Exactly 20 years ago, during the Velvet Revolution, the country was flooded with posters, both home-produced and professionally printed, calling for change. They bore slogans like Free Elections, Teacher You Don’t Have to Lie to Us Anymore, and Havel to the Castle. Now many of those posters have been gathered in a fascinating new book.