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I LOVE TYPOGRAPHY

An Interview with Ulrike Rausch

This interview was originally conducted live on Twitter, July 2, 2021.

Today, I’m honored to interview Ulrike Rausch. Ulrike is an author and award-winning type designer based in Berlin. She’s also the designer of one of my all-time favorite handwriting typefaces, LiebeHeide.


ILT: Hi Ulrike. Thanks for agreeing to this interview! My first question for you is: How did you get started in type design?

UR: Actually, by accident! I focused more on illustration in University (even though, I took numerous classes with Fontfabric). After graduation, I created a couple of dingbat fonts out of my drawings and realized then, that a matching typeface would probably be convenient.

ILT: Well, a happy accident indeed! You are something of a specialist in handwriting typefaces, so my second question is: What is the most challenging aspect of designing a handwriting typeface?

UR: Well, to actually make it look handwritten and not like a cold rigid piece of software. Paradoxically, you need to work a lot with software and code to give the font its handmade and individual charm.

ILT: I think that’s why your handwriting fonts are so successful — they’re incredibly authentic. And talking of software and code, that leads me to my next question: Why did you choose to make LiebeHeide a color font? And is making a color font more difficult?

UR: I was looking at all my sketches and thought it would be a pity to lose all this unevenness and structure of the ballpoint pen. Even vector curves with a grungy outline can’t capture all this irregularities in the color tones. Bitmap color fonts allowed me maintain all this.

And yes, it was way more tedious that working with a vector shape. Especially, when it comes to the part where you want to make sure, that the connection to next letter is at the correct position. It was a constant back and forth between Glyphs and Photoshop.

ILT: That really is a LOT of work! And perhaps one reason we don’t see so many color fonts. How much longer did it take to create LiebeHeide? Twice as long as a regular typeface or longer?

UR: Well, ‘thanks’ to Covid there were no other jobs on my desk last year. So I was able to work on it without any interruption. Six months in total, which is kind of average.

ILT: My favorite of your typefaces is LiebeHeide. I love it. In fact, it was one of my favorite typefaces of 2020. So, my next question is: Of your own typefaces do you have a favorite?

UR: Thank you, John! Besides LiebeHeide, it is definitely LiebeErika. LiebeErika was the very first typeface I created, named after the greatest grandmother of all times. Even though I released the font more than 10 years ago, I still love looking at its graceful shapes.

ILT: It’s a lovely typeface and a beautiful gift to your grandmother. My personal next favorite is LiebeLotte Swell. I love how it looks on this sign. I now want to start a company called Quain, just so I can use it.

UR: How about a shop, where you can buy fonts? Ah no, you already have one!

Find more of Ulrike’s fonts on the LiebeFonts foundry page.

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