Public Foundry: the catalog based on the work of HMCT 2020 Typographers-in-Residence: Joshua Trees, Yvan Martinez, and Krister Olsson is available for purchase by contacting Draw Down Books. In 2019, Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence program granted the three a Focused Research Award to build Public Foundry, the first type foundry powered by the public using artificial intelligence.
Although the digital revolution is commonly thought to have democratized the field of typography by making computer fonts publicly available, digital typeface design remains an esoteric practice. At the same time, public lettering and signage are being erased and homogenised through gentrification and globalisation. Public Foundry aims to address this paradox by serving as a tool and resource for collecting, archiving and constructing letterforms that express and embody the human voice — socially, culturally and politically: letterforms that reflect our collective and personal identities, ideologies and memories; letterforms that revive and reinvent endangered typographies to perform alternative pasts and speculative futures. Click here to view the video of our conversation on Tuesday, July 21 with Trees, Martinez, and Olsson who talked about their project.