Department of Design Senior Instructor Jan Ballard was one of 12 faculty members invited to explore the art of typography at Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione in Cornuda, Italy. Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione is an internationally-renowned working museum offering workshops, exhibitions and meetings to preserve the history of printing.
Ballard received the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Teaching Enhancement Grant, which provides summer financial support to faculty for research and creative activity. Ballard saw the funding as the perfect opportunity to build on her extensive experience presenting student projects and cross-disciplinary research at international conferences.
For two weeks, Ballard collaborated with scholars and other faculty members to gain a deeper understanding of Italy’s rich history in typography.
“I was honored to attend with leaders in the field of typography, innovation, and commercial licensing to get hands-on experience and research into typographical pedagogy at its origin,” said Ballard.
During her visit, Ballard researched typography from the earliest forms of writing to the present-day digital translation. She created a digital revival of “Lombardia,” a metal-type typeface dating to the 1930s and 1940s.
“The Tipoteca library had a photo of the long-ago Florence foundry that is the only clue to the font’s origin,” said Ballard. “The font would be lost beyond the history books without designers trying to create digital versions.”
She hopes to take this research into her courses and help students learn the principles of typography to apply to their own work.
“I am always on the lookout for opportunities to enhance my knowledge, highlight TCU and share my experiences with my students,” said Ballard.