Peter Biľak

Graphic & type designer and owner of Typotheque, The Netherlands
Peter Biľak works in the field of editorial, graphic, and type design. In 1999 he started Typotheque type foundry, in 2000, together with Stuart Bailey he co-founded art & design journal Dot Dot Dot, in 2012 he started Works That Work, a magazine of unexpected creativity, in 2015 together with Andrej Krátky he co-founded, a font rental platform. Peter is teaching at the Type & Media, postgraduate course at the KABK, Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague.
About the talk
Typotheque Syllabics Project Typeface design for minority languages is often a complex endeavour, in which the necessary infrastructure for developing a font is not readily available, and must first be developed through a process of research before drawing the type can begin. Even languages with large populations and predefined glyph sets may present similar challenges due to inadequate standardisation and support, which can place these languages at risk of digital extinction. Conducting research in collaboration with local knowledge holders can supply meaningful solutions that provide grounds for the healthy future of these languages. Typotheque works with endangered languages around the world, from India and Southeast Asia, to North America, putting an emphasis on community engagement and collaboration to first understand the needs and preferences as experienced by the local users. The results of these efforts returns more meaningful solutions for by collaborating directly with local communities through the whole process. The Typotheque Syllabics Project is no exception. This talk will present Typotheque’s work with endangered languages worldwide, and discuss the details of how the Syllabics project exemplifies the company’s approach. This will be followed by a panel discussion with special guests Janet Tamalik McGrath (ᑕᒪᓕᒃ) and Francois Prince (ᗮᘧᐣᙒᔆ ᗮᘦᐣᙆ) to discuss the process of collaborating together with Typotheque, and the impact that the project’s results are having on the community today.