Learning to Love letters!

I love letters. All kinds and types of letters: small, large, drawn, sketched, painted, rough, smooth, serif, sans serif, script, roman, italic, oblique, digitized, old and new, uppercase, lowercase, all materials and media, three dimensional… Yes, I love letters, except for those that are poorly or incorrectly proportioned. For those poor ugly letters, I feel […]

BundesSans and BundesSerif — truly democratic typefaces

Three years ago MetaDesign Berlin asked us to design a custom Serif and Sans typeface for the German federal government. They had been assigned to redevelop the government’s corporate design with the typefaces as part of the update. The project was to cover all communication issued by the government and their ministries, online or offline, […]

An idea of a typeface

Aware that there is no such thing as total neutrality, Neutral typeface explores how the absence of stylistic associations can help the reader to engage with the content of a text.

Drawing Line

In the spring of 2012, Stefania Malmsten became the new Creative Director of Swedish fashion & culture magazine Rodeo. Stefania was living in New York at the time, working with Swedish and American clients from the collaborative workspace Studiomates in Dumbo, Brooklyn. She had decided to move back to Sweden where she had started her […]

Harir – Reducing Noise in Arabic Script

Our daily lives are full of noise, but when we immerse ourselves in reading, it seems to disappear. But what if the shapes of the words we read also contain perceptible noise? Does it disrupt the reading process, or do we learn to filter it out?

Lava — Voice of a Magazine

In Spring 2012 I started working on Works That Work, a new magazine which launched in February 2013, and as strange as it may seem, one of the first things that I started working on was its typeface.

Socialist TV Typeface Videtur Finally Freed

In the 1980s, the German Democratic Republic’s state television broadcasting service commissioned Axel Bertram to develop a custom typeface. The result was “Videtur,” a remarkably independent serif design that was intended to define the on-screen graphics of East German television for years to come. But by the beginning of the 1990s, the GDR no longer […]

Beauty and Ugliness in Type design

Peter Biľak on the process of designing his newly released Karloff typeface, demonstrating just how closely related beauty and ugliness are. Karloff explores the idea of irreconcilable differences — how two extremes could be combined into a coherent whole.

Krul & the untold history
of the ‘Amsterdamse Krulletter’

In a way, my research into the ‘Amsterdamse Krulletter’ (Amsterdam’s Curly Letter) began eight years ago as I was walking down the streets of what is possibly the city’s most beautiful district, the Jordaan. As every local knows, this area hosts quite a few of the old, traditional pubs that the locals call ‘bruin cafés’ […]

The design of a signage typeface

The story begins in 2006 with a trip down Route 66. Day in, day out, I looked at U.S. traffic signs that were either set in the old, somewhat clumsy “FHWA font series” or the new Clearview HWY typeface. Approaching the signs, I would often test myself: which typeface works best from a distance, and […]

Designing type systems

Peter Biľak I remember a conversation from back in my student days where my typophile friends and I debated what the ultimate typeface of the twentieth century was, a typeface that summed up all of the era’s advancements and knowledge into a coherent whole, one that would be a reference for years to come. Helvetica […]

Garçon Grotesque

Honesty in form is one of the major tenets of modernism. In other words, a design should accomplish a narrowly defined function in the simplest manner possible. This belief is extolled in many design disciplines, including typography. In 1931, Eric Gill wrote:

An interview with Kunihiko Okano

By Taro Yumiba How and when did you become interested in typography & type design? At university I majored in graphic design. I used to leaf through typeface catalogs in search of letters to use in my poster design assignments. However, I could never find any typefaces that matched perfectly what I had in mind, so […]

The making of FF Tundra

by Ludwig Übele A line of text is like a silhouette on the horizon. Closer inspection reveals the detail, the trees, bushes, rocks; details that, though only vaguely perceivable from afar, create both rhythm and variation. The beauty of this landscape is born of both regularity and variety.

Engaging contextuality

BY NICK SHINN There are many OpenType features that can be built into a font, but Contextual Alternates is something special. Swash characters, ligatures, small caps and figure variants are all very well, but they merely duplicate cleverness that was available prior to digital type. The Contextual Alternates feature however, in which the choice of […]

Through Thick and Thin

By David Jonathan Ross Ever since I started to draw type, one of the challenges that has intrigued me the most is figuring out how letters carry their weight. Arranging thicks and thins and determining the contrast between them is crucial in assembling the systems of shapes that form a type design. Historically, a letter’s […]

Reviving Caslon

by William Berkson Part 2: Readability, Affability, Authority [read part one] When their words are put into print, writers want the text to be inviting and welcoming, so that readers will read what they have written. And they also want the text to have an aura of credibility, so it will be taken seriously and […]

Ode, a Fresh Start for a Broken Script

By Martin Wenzel When designing a typeface, I prefer to explore a construction principle rather than revive an existing typeface idea. These principles or writing models are based on the tools and techniques originally used. Understanding these workings are often a great source of inspiration for me. The starting point for my latest typeface Ode […]

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