The plan to study digital typography was nice but no one in Czech really understand what does it mean. Imagine it’s 2003 and you talking about possibility to use <@fontface> - its hard to believe even now. After several failure on home land I start to talk to university professors abroad. They were more interested and exited to be pioneers in digital space.
Within 6 months of all negotiation, Im sitting in the bus to Ville de Reims where I studied Digital typography. Christian Pori and Laurent Burte were most amazing and passioned design professors I’ve ever met.
I run it two parallel project, where one was “travelmaker” for the university and the second one was for me – my own project. Within 1/2 year I’ve gathered and translate enough materials to be able to identify issues in actual browsers as well as identify all differentiation of the typeface on the screen.
Meanwhile Mike Davis starting his sIFR which works quite well. I used his code to regenerate some part but even those was not successful enough for the launch so I dropped idea completely and become only UI Designer of sort.
Than I’ve try entire page by using sIFR technology. Over a period of time there were many Flash updates and many .js updates so it never runs as we expected but it was one of the greatest tool i have been using so far on most of my websites. Hopefully there will be one day HTML which supports different typefaces without embedding them in to a page.
Parallel project Travelmaker – talk about the traveller using primitive navigation to get from point A to point B. I find myself in the position where most of the natural habits disappear and opens the primary ones – alertness, attention to sound, smell and space unique habits of all travellers. Mental disproportion when we traveller purely focus on time and basic needs.
I research and tested these habits during my travelling across the France. This was my first ethnographic UX research study I have made before I become UX guy. Thanks to great tutors I succeed not only in the research but also in lecturing these habits.
International environment was not only about students from the different countries, it was about the communication and excitement to share ideas and processes with your peers. It was literally creative explosion.
I would encourage any student at any stage of their study to try at least one time to go abroad – you might not like it – but you’ll definitely learn something new, and maybe something better.
Worth of all your spendings - I realise there are many different ways to do design. The biggest step compare to Czech way of thinking and approaching work was new methodology of gathering the ideas and chance to make the decision based on gathered knowledge and not only on assumption.