In 2008 Birmingham City University Collaborated on a Animated Film about John Baskerville and the Baskerville font. Due to it’s popularity at festivals around the globe, there has been calls for a second film. The sequel will be about the History of the type face Caslon, exploring the history of its founder William Caslon, in a variety of animation styles.
HISTORY OF CASLON
William Caslon, born in 1692 just outside Cradley and Halesowen, was an ornament engraver, type-founder and music lover. Before he invented the Caslon type face, English printing was described as “Brown sheets and sorry letters.” Everything from common public printing to the bible was shabbily produced using battered old typefaces.
The film is intended to be a collaborative project, with many different people working together on it. Before we started work on the project, we were given a script which was split into 13 sections. One section was randomly assigned to each of us to come up with ideas and then animate in the style of our choice. I was given section 6: The typeface.
This section was all about the design of the font, how it looks and what the inspirations for it were. “William Caslon released his font in 1722: the fount was based on 17th century Dutch old style design, used extensively in England. But despite the superficial unity of the design, there are variations among sizes of the Caslon types…” Section 6 describes the differences and similarities of certain letters at different sizes .
The section is basically about the look of the font, and I had many ideas quite quickly about how I wanted this part of the animation to look. I like the idea of having kinetic text, The letters that were being described to write themselves out, as apposed to having letters appearing static on the screen. As it founded in the 1700, I also felt it was appropriate for the animation to have an “oldy worldy” feel to it, nothing modern. Using an old maps colour scheme, creams and beiges instead of bright colours that stand out.
WORK I HAVE DONE
We were given a 2 hour limit to come up with an idea and then pitch it to a group of 3rd year graphic students. I find I work best under pressure and therefore was quite comfortable with the short amount of time we were given.
In this time I came up with a basic idea and rough storyboard to pitch to the other students. I followed my original thoughts, incorporating an old map and moving fonts to show what was being explained in the script. I was pleased to find that the head of the project liked my idea, and therefore I felt inspired to expand on my original ideas.