Jo De Baerdemaeker on TEDx Ulaanbaatar

Jo De Baerdemaeker has just been confirmed as a speaker on the upcoming TEDx Ulaanbaatar on 20 August.

Jo will speak about Mongolian Type, his postdoctoral research project on ‘Mongolian script: from metal type to digital font’. The project is based in the Department of Typography and Graphic Communication, and is supported by an Early Career Fellowship from The Leverhulme Trust, as well as the University of Reading. Ms Unurmaa Janchiv is main coordinator on the Mongolian side.

Mongolian writing by Sukhbaatar (2010)

The research aims to provide a comprehensive historical account of the evolution of the printed Mongolian character, and to offer practice-oriented guidance in designing and developing new digital fonts for the traditional Mongolian script. It adopts the methodology developed and tested in De Baerdemaeker’s work on Tibetan typeforms, which uses an exhaustive historical survey to support critical contemporary analysis.

The prime objectives are to develop a framework for describing the visual and technical quality of Mongolian typefaces; to determine the extent of printing houses using Mongolian typefaces and the connection with the individual punchcutters/type designers or typefoundries & companies of printing material and typesetting equipment creating and/or supplying these founts; to explore how Mongolian typefaces were developed and typeset; and to set up practical guidelines for creating contemporary digital fonts for the traditional Mongolian script.

The project website will present findings and practical guidance supported by theoretical analysis, in conjunction with the database of Mongolian typefaces, publicly available to scholars of Mongolian language and culture, to historians of print, to professional (typeface) designers, software developers, librarians, linguists, academics, and to all those who have an interest in non-Latin typography and typeface design.