UW–Madison’s Yeoyhun Ahn was featured on the platform Femme Type, in an article headlined “Yeoyhun Ahn Fuses Coding and Calligraphy in a Groundbreaking New Project.”
Ahn is an assistant professor in the School of Education’s Art Department. Femme Type, a project of TYPE01 Ltd, was created with a purpose of intensely celebrating the work of type designers and type-focused creatives who identify as women.
The article showcases Ahn’s interdisciplinary project “Type + Code,” which explores code-driven typography through generated multi-dimensional letterforms.
“(Ahn’s) work is truly pioneering, bridging graphic design, computer science, typography, and art for an imaginative approach to making type,” reads the article. “The results exceed the possibilities of pen and paper — though as with any design project, that’s where they all start: as drawn thumbnail compositions seeking balance and interest, created as a means to solve a problem.”
The article explains that while Type + Code began as a personal collection of experiments, Ahn realized sharing her code with others would allow it to continue growing and evolving. She has been leading Type + Code workshops since 2012, and each has a distinct focus — including coding towards calligraphy, selfies, floral illustrations, and the Korean alphabet.
“As a child,” the article explains, Ahn “adored all things calligraphy,” but she was discouraged from pursuing it as a full-time job. “Through Type + Code, not only was she innovating a new discipline, but also combining two things she really loved.”
Works created by some of Ahn’s students at UW–Madison are also featured in the article, including Mo Chen, an MFA student studying graphic design in the Art Department, and Lauren Chung and Anya Gubenkova (Hanna Hubiankova), both alumni of the Art Department’s Graphic Design program.
Ahn’s Type + Code classes and workshops are the first of their kind, and draw a diverse range of students from art, design, and coding backgrounds, explains the article. Ahn noted that her art and design students in particular “are always very concerned at the beginning about the technical elements of coding, but find they’re eventually surprised with how quickly they pick it up.”
“Just as we don’t need to know all of Photoshop to edit a picture,” Ahn said, “we don’t need to know all about coding to code.”
Learn more about Type + Code by reading the full article on Femme Type.