Petra Dočekalova’s Thesis Reaps International Success
Created: 20. 2. 2017 from Vysoká škola uměleckoprůmyslová v Praze

A calligraphy thesis by recent UMPRUM graduate Petry Dočekalová has won two prestigious international prizes – the Certificate of Typographic Excellence 2017 from the Type Directors Club and the Award of Excellence 2017 from the Annual Communication Arts Typography Competition.

Petra Dočekalová graduated in autumn 2016 from UMPRUM’s Typography Studio, which is led by Prof. Karel Haloun. Petra explains why she chose calligraphy as the topic for her thesis: “In the Czech Republic calligraphy is a field that has not survived the onset of digitisation and cheap large reproductive technologies. These specialised apprentice disciplines have disappeared and professional journals and manuals are no longer published. The public have been deprived of these types of aesthetic handmade products by the industry. That’s why I decided to try and rehabilitate the discipline myself.”

Her thesis takes a comprehensive approach to the history, context and juxtaposition of hand fonts, the characteristics of handwritten signs and includes a survey on the amount of typographers currently working in handwriting. As well as exploring the world of scripts, innovation and new technologies, she became a calligraphist herself – converting script fonts into templates, script signs and digital versions. Four new models for handwritten fonts were created as part of the project, respecting local traditions while also reflecting current trends and technologies.
Petra assesses the results of her work: “Now my new calligraphy workshop is working to restore font craftsmanship to window displays, shop signs and café interiors. I hope my work reflects their originality and unique qualities by sensitively integrating fonts in public spaces and promoting quality handwriting.”

The two prestigious international awards granted in the United States confirm the unique appeal of this project. Petra was awarded in the student category for the Certificate of Typographic Excellence 2017 by the Art Directors Club. Her project will be included in the annual Type Art Directors Club 63 and be presented at the exhibition of awarded works at TDC63 in New York. The work will then be presented around the world as part of the international TDC63 exhibition in Canada, China, UK, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Petra also won the Award of Excellence 2017 in the Lettering and Calligraphy category in the Annual Communication Arts Typography Competition. Her thesis will also feature in the Lettering and Calligraphy magazine.

For more information on Petra Dočekalová’s work, visit her website www.petra-d.com