From Stone to Spaceship
Collaborative Font Design

About the Workshop

The soon to be home of Medialab-Prado, Serrería Belga (Old Belgian Saw Mill), has its facades decorated with beautiful typography. Our collective task will be to liberate it from its stone prison and release it to the world. During a three day workshop we'll work our way into rescuing this type from the walls into the screen.

To go along with the community theme, we will only be using free/libre and open source software tools (F/LOSS) for every part of the design process, and the resulting work will be made available under the Open Font License (OFL).

We'll provide each participant with a full ready-to-use design software toolchain, as well as helpful tips for your first steps with libre tools and how to make the switch from your existing workflow. We'll be going deep into the technical aspects of putting together a font for distribution, touching subjects such as vector drawing, font formats, spacing and kerning, and libre font licenses. Finally, there will be time to discuss the conceptual details of font copyright, collective authorship and free licenses.

Call for registration

Required material

  1. Pencil, pen and paper
  2. Your laptop with Virtualbox installed. See here.

Manufactura Independente

Manufactura Independente is a design research studio based in Porto, Portugal. It is the playground and testing grounds for Ana Carvalho and Ricardo Lafuente’s design explorations and graphical hacks, always grounded in the fields of free software, free culture and experimental approaches.

Together with ginger coons, Manufactura is responsible for the design and editorial direction of Libre Graphics magazine, a printed magazine dedicated to building bridges between art/design and free culture.

They're also busy hacking on typefaces, reverse-engineering pen plotters, building open data websites, creating experimental graphics software and exploring libre type design methodologies.


Medialab-Prado is a program of the Department of Arts of the City Council of Madrid, aimed at the production, research, and dissemination of digital culture and of the area where art, science, technology, and society intersect.

Many workshops for the production of projects, conferences, seminars, encounters, project exhibition, concerts, presentations, etc. take place in its versatile space. All activities are free and open to the general public.


Workshop planning and direction Manufactura Independente

Lead assistance Guillermo Afonso and Rafael Parrilla

Technical assistance Gabriel Lucas

Production Monica Cachafeiro

This website was built with Stacey.

Background image by Flickr user x-ray_delta_one (Creative Commons BY-SA license)