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Freelance Graphic Designer Tom Sanalitro

Tom Sanalitro is a freelance Graphic Designer and Typographer from Cambridge, UK and currently studying for a Masters of Art in Graphic Design and Typography at Cambridge School of Art.

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‘In my professional practice I deal with a variety of jobs like branding, web and type design. The main focus of my work is centered on typography and type design, using the disciplines in inventive ways to fulfil the goals of various projects either personal or professional. A great example of this is a project I did for a local community where I was tasked with creating a wall mural at a newly opened nursery school. I allowed type design to become a pro-active social event where the children of the school created letter forms which I turned into a font that could be then used in the design of the wall mural.

My academic and personal work is based mainly around type design and stems into two different paths. The first path is again exploring the discipline, using it in a more social manner and then experimenting with the use of OpenType features to create effects like automated contextual alternates and chromatics. The second path is one that stems from work carried out in my Undergraduate course, that is work with minority writing system type design.’

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‘Since early 2012 I have been working as a volunteer type design for The Endangered Alphabets Project. There is a region of southern Bangladesh called the Chittagong Hill Tracts. It is an upland and forested area and is home to 13 different indigenous people, each of which has its own genetic identity, history and cultural traditions. Many have their own language and even their own script. All these languages and scripts are endangered. I was tasked with designing two fonts, one for Mro and one for Marma, just two of these endangered writing systems, and this I did for my Final Major Project on the Undergraduate course. Now a few years on, and studying for my MA, I am working on a new and improved version of a Marma typeface that will contain, at first, at least three weights but in time hopefully I will be able to add more and build up the typeface family. Alongside this I am writing my Thesis on type design codes of conduct for Minority writing systems. ‘

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‘As you may have noticed, whilst I may be a Graphic Designer I am more of a Type Designer and I have a lot of passion for this profession. A lot of this comes from my love of Science Fiction and Fantasy even before I knew what a Graphic Designer was, and I had a huge interest in all the designs contained in these films and books especially towards the made up languages like Star Treks’ Klingon or Tolkien’s Elvish. As my career advanced further into Graphic Design I remembered myself originally finding a lot of inspiration from the works of Barney Bubbles and Chip Kidd but found a great deal of my motivation coming from Karlssonwilker’s book Tell me Why, and in my opinion every fresh Design Student should have at least read this book. While still influenced by these people, with my work mainly type based I find myself looking towards influences like Claude Garamond, Martin Majoor, Matthew Carter, John Hudson and type design at various foundries like P22.’

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