Mountain type in Cheers magazine


In August, the people behind Slanted published the first issue of a new magazine called Cheers. It offers in interesting combination of photography and letterforms. This issue, containing text in both German and English, was printed in an edition of 2000. The magazine’s colophon describes the thinking behind its design philosophy well:

Cheers magazine is a publication for photographers and font-designers who are interested in presenting new works. In cooperation with Slanted and Volcano Type, Cheers is also a networking project to show new fonts in use. The printing of Cheers magazine is financed by the presented photographers. The first Cheers magazine will be distributed for free to design studios worldwide that hold a subscription to Slanted magazine.

In this inaugural issue, the following typefaces from the Volcano Type foundry were used: Filou, Gringo, and Mountain, designed by Peter Brugger, Boris Kahl, and myself, respectively. Additionally, SteroType‘s Marcelle appears in the design. Until recently, I had not seen Cheers. Jürgen Siebert had a copy, which Frank Grießhammer won in a FontBlog raffle, together with the 11th Slanted issue. Frank was kind enough to give his copy to me last week, and I am pleased to share a few images of the type here (especially Mountain).

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Malabar in Use: Schusterfisch


The newspaper/magazine to the left is Schusterfisch; I’ve been sitting on this example of Malabar-in-use for months. It is time that I wrote up this neat project. Schusterfisch was designed by Indra Kupferschmid’s students at the HBKsaar for the Deutsches Zeitungsmuseum (German Newspaper Museum) in Wadgassen. It was printed at the Saarbrücker Zeitung, Saarbrücken’s daily newspaper. The typeface is Malabar, which I designed as a student in Reading for possible use in newspapers.

At Reading, during the typeface’s development, I did not run any offsett tests—either on newspaper or any other sort of presses. Over the past few years, I have often wondered how the letters would appear in newsprint, or if they would even be legible at all. In 2010, I have seen a few great examples of Malabar in use. At TYPO Berlin in May, I received one of the first printed copies of the second issue of TypoJournal. In mid-June, the Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 2010 was published; this journal’s body text was set in a custom Malabar Book version, and footnotes were set in Malabar Regular.

Schusterfisch was printed to accompany an exhibition on type, called Schrift, at the German Newspaper Museum [photo]. I have a few dozen copies of Schusterfisch; if you’d like one, just ask!

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TypoJournal 2 set in Malabar

tj2 Text Column 04

As I mentioned in my post-TYPO article, a new issue of the German-language TypoJournal has just been published. TypoJournal is the magazine of the website/wiki/forum For almost a decade, Ralf Herrmann has successful maintained’s position as one of Germany’s most important graphic design websites. A year ago, he extended the brand into a second medium, publishing the first TypoJournal in time for TYPO Berlin 2009.

Earlier this year, Ralf asked me to write a short piece on Malabar for a new TypoJournal. At TYPO Berlin 2010 last month, he gave me a fresh copy of the issue. When he handed it to me, I thumbed through it quickly to get to the end and see how my article looked. In my rush, he had to point out to me that the text throughout the entire issue was set in Malabar! Large headlines are set in the navigation typeface that was part of Ralf’s Diplomarbeit at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. His decision to use Malabar was quite a surprise, and honestly, one of the nicest surprises I have ever had as a designer. I cannot express my gratitude enough.

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Dmig2 published! (Read the HTML version)


Years ago, in what seems to have been a time before the German type blogs Slanted and FontBlog were born, I recall often visiting a site called Design Made in Germany. Under the motto “German design is gray,” this site offered users a reduced, simple interface, as well as lively discussion. It was not unique on my radar; the two German type fora and TypeForum were great sites to visit as well. But dmig did occasionally have interesting type and font-related threads.

At some point, the site disappeared into the ether, but I never seemed to notice. Slanted had become a strong force from the southwest, and FontBlog was on its way to becoming one of the most important blogs in the entire country. TypeForum seemed to die down (I stopped visiting the site regularly after some acidic discussions about the then-new idea of a capital German ß), and neve ceased to be actve.

Design Made in Germany has seemingly been resurrected. A new graph of dubious origin even reports that it has a wider reach than FontBlog. This would be like some small obscure country beating the NBA champions in a pick-up game of basketball, if were true. Nevertheless, the new dmig has something that I can’t recall the old site ever having: an online magazine.

The second issue of the dmig magazine was published last week. The magazine may be viewed either in an HTML version (there is even an iPhone-optimized page), or as a PDF. You could even do both… each article also has its own PDF-download link.

dmig approached Linotype awhile back, asking if we’d be interesting in sponsoring their second issue with a typeface family. I was glad when the discussion came around towards my Malabar family. However pleased I am to see anyone use my typeface, though, I hope that no one reads this magazine in PDF form.

I do not wish to deride the dmig magazine, or even this particular issue—Dmig2. I finally got around to finish reading all of the articles yesterday. Some of them were quite nice, especially the interview with Daniel Janssen on his punchcutting experience in Paris. Then are are several good articles, such as the interview with Thomas Klein from Metadesign on the refreshed Commerzbank identity. Even articles that are not so up my alley still offered an interesting point of view.

I just find the idea of a PDF magazine completely against the idea of the Internet. I also think that it is plain unnecessary. Sure, if makes it easier to save articles for reading later, or to perhaps to print them out and to store them. But websites are dynamic and temporary. PDFs—perhaps despite their original intention?—strike me as only being really great for streamlining the print production process.

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Mountain and the Prosanova festival

After returning to Germany from Reading last September, I had to wait around Frankfurt and Berlin for a few days before I could move into my new Offenbach apartment. While spending a few nights in a friend’s study, I noticed a small brochure for an annual literary festival in Hildesheim, Prosanova. At least in 2008, the festival’s logo was set in Mountain, a small type family I produced for Volcano-Type in 2006. While the fonts do at least sell a little bit, this was the first example of Mountain in use that I’ve discovered, apart from materials that Volcano-Type and its sister companies have created with it.

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First Morris Sans application found

front cover

Linotype released my Morris Sans typeface about a year ago, but until a the day before yesterday, I hadn’t seen the fonts in use anywhere. Since I spend most of my time walking through the streets looking at letters anyway, I always held out a little beacon of hope that I might one day run into Morris Sans in the wild.

On my way to Dunkin’ Donuts two days ago, I stepped into a rather enormous tourist book shop on Berlin’s Unter den Linden. After spending a few minutes looking at a model reconstructing the historic city center that was sitting in the back of the shop, I made my way for the exit. That is when this book cover caught my eye.

The title is FBI, CIA & Co., and it was written by Klaus Steiniger and published by Das neue Berlin, 2008. Since it was the first time I’d ever seen Morris Sans in use, I bought a copy of the book straight away. I think that it was about 15 euros, or about one-third of what one weight of the family costs to license. I’m also afraid to say that I didn’t read any of the book before I paid for it, and I can’t agree with all of the author’s politics, or even that this book is my typical historical reading fare. But I’m still a bit giddy about the design nonetheless.

My thanks certainly go out to, who are credited in the book for having designed the cover. I guess they are the ones who put in Morris Sans Medium and Morris Sans Com Heavy. More images of their design follow below…

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Four Reading designers in STEP

STEP spread 1

I received my copy of the January–February 2008 issue of STEP Inside Design while I was away for the holidays. Inside is an article by Allan Haley entitled “type… four more emerging talents.” This profiles the work of Alice Savoie, Tim Ahrens, myself, and Sandra Winter. I’m studying at Reading now, while the other three designers are graduates of the classes of 2007 and 2006.

The article is a great introduction to our work. Alice and Sandra exhibit the typefaces they designed in Reading. Tim displays his Rapture, and I’m in with Morris Sans. Lapture is a revival of Albert Kapr’s Leipziger Antiqua, and Morris Sans is a Bank Gothic with lowercase that is named after Morris Fuller Benton – Bank Gothic’s designer at ATF.

Plus, the University of Reading’s MA Typeface Design program gets mad props in the article. Worth a read, in any event!

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Morris Sans shirt at TypeCon


I wasn’t at TypeCon in Seattle this year, but at least my typeface was. Above is this year’s Linotype shirt for the conference, which I did not have a hand in making. The text “city of TYPE,” as well as some of the skyline elements, is set in Morris Sans. Hopefully, a few prominent Seattle landmarks are visible in the design. The letters however, are clearly more important, especially that big “TYPE” 😉

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Pater Noster in Use

When I was a student at the HfG in Offenbach, I began working on an uncial typeface that I named Pater Noster. After developing the initial alphanumeric characters, I put it aside for other, better things.

A few months ago, I received a delightful e-mail from an eccumenical publishing house, which inquired where the font was distributed. Since I never completed the design, it isn’t for sale anywhere. Flattered, I tweaked the letters for a day or so, and sent the publishers a beta version for use on one of their bookcovers.

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