Specimen for two new typefaces

In late 2014 and early 2015, I worked on two Latin & Devanagari typefaces with Mathieu Réguer that you can have for free: Biryani and Martel Sans. Here are the first PDF specimen I designed for each of them; these PDFs really only illustrate the Latin-portions of those families.

As for the fonts themselves, you can get the Martel Sans fonts libre and gratis from Google Fonts or GitHub. The same is the case for Biryani: Google Fonts link and GitHub link.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy looking at these PDFs. The text on most of their pages are reprints from three book reviews I wrote a few years ago. Biryani has How to be a graphic designer without loosing your soul, and Martel Sans has Counterpunch and José Mendoza y Almeida. That’s it! Hit me up with any questions over on Twitter.

TYPO TALK in Mainz in March

As part of their ON-TYPE exhibition, the Gutenberg-Museum in Mainz will hold a two-day lecture series entitled TYPO TALK on March 21 and 28, 2012. I’ve been invited as one of three speakers to present on the 21st. The series organizer, Marcel Häusler shared some information with today that I am pleased to translate into English for TypeOff. readers. Unfortunately, I will only be in Mainz for the first evening – on March 21st – but both dates are sure to prove interesting.

These days, there are more typefaces available than ever before. More and more typefaces are being designed every day. The TYPO TALK shines a light on the world of type design. The lecture series will help illustrate the work of type designers and their processes, all the way from the creation of new typeface concepts to their final uses on screen and in print.

During each of the two TYPO TALK evenings, three type designers will present their work. Each will use the example of one of their typefaces to communicate an image of themselves as designers, highlighting their personal ideas and intentions, showing what inspires and motivates them, and allowing the audience as much of a view into their studios as possible. The speakers all come from a variety of backgrounds and include, for example, a Linotype employee, a graphic designer who creates typefaces for his personal work, and a young designer only just beginning his career, but with a few typefaces already available.

The audience will have the ability each evening to talk to each of the speakers, and get to know them better.

This event is organized by the Gutenberg-Museum Mainz, together with Marcel Häusler, Arthur Ruppel, Alice Schaffner, Daniel Kalbfuß, the Fachhochschule Mainz, Prof. Dr. Isabel Naegele, and the institut designlabor gutenberg. Linotype GmbH is a partner, and Slanted is a media partner.

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Now: type design and research

This month, I’ve switched jobs. Today, I took up a half-time position as research assistant at the Braunschweig University of Art, where I’ll soon begin my doctoral research into early 20th century German type foundries. Additionally, I’ve gone out on my own as type designer and font marketer in Berlin.

September was my last month as an employee at Linotype GmbH, and I’d like to thank all of my former colleagues at Linotype and Monotype Imaging for the wonderful opportunities and lessons-learned over the past seven years. When I look back at all of the work accomplished in that time, I am very proud; I look forward to watching the company grow and develop in the future. I first came to Linotype while studying at the HfG Offenbach. Working with the Product Marketing department, I wrote typeface descriptions and classified fonts for linotype.com. This position became full-time in 2006, and my responsibilities grew to include type design. I was also served on the editorial team behind all three issues of the Linotype Matrix magazine.

In October 2007, I took a year’s leave to study on the MA Typeface Design course at the University of Reading. After returning from England, I moved to Berlin and transferred into Linotype’s font development group. Over the next two and a half years, I had the privilege of helping bring typefaces to market from designers like Hannes von Döhren, Gerard Unger, and Jovica Veljović. I also worked on several custom projects for Linotype’s clients – including fonts for the Devanagari and Thai scripts. The most public project that I contributed to was the Carter Sans typeface, with Matthew Carter and Allan Haley.

Since 2009, I’ve used most of my vacation time to offer type design and typography workshops and courses at design schools in Darmstadt, Halle, Hamburg, and Saarbrücken. This makes my switch to a university position quite organic. As for the immediate future, I am looking forward to the additional typefaces that I’ll help bring to graphic designers, publishers, and device manufacturers, both from my own studio and from colleagues I’ll collaborate with soon.
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Berliners, come see Making Faces!

Photo of Jim Rimmer and Richard Kegler, by Anna Prior
Jim Rimmer and Richard Kegler; photo © Anna Prior.

The film Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century is coming to Berlin. Making Faces is a fascinating design documentary by Richard Kegler that captures the personality and work process of the late Canadian graphic artist and type designer Jim Rimmer (1931–2010). It focuses on one man’s dedication to his craft and relays the details of creating a metal typeface, while also conveying this passion to anyone who values the “hand-made” in today’s world of convenience. Jim Rimmer’s good humor and intelligent description of his process make it an enjoyable viewing experience for those who are even vaguely interested in how things are made.

The film was partially-funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, and I was proud to be one of the backers. The DVD sits proudly on my bookshelf. Now, Making Faces is coming to Berlin, where anyone may take the opportunity to see it for themselves.

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Some thoughts on geometric type

01. Introduction
Graphic design and printing has engaged with geometric letters for at least a century. Designers pride themselves on their ability to create complex systems from simple elements, and the alphabet is no exception. By repeating a series of basic shapes, all of the forms of our writing system may be easily recreated, or at least approximated. This article will highlight a few—but not all—prominent examples.

02. Type and lettering at the Bauhaus
The starting point for many investigations into this theme is work from the Bauhaus.1 However, the role that Bauhaus designers played in the popularization of geometric letter styles is minimal, and their role in the development of geometric typefaces is tangential. Some contemporary designers may assume that typefaces were developed at the Bauhaus, but this is not the case. While a number of letter drawing experiments were undertaken there, no typefaces were created.2 During the 1920s and 30s, typecasting was still an industrial activity. Fonts were produced, sold, and distributed by large companies with hundreds of employees working in factory settings. The Bauhaus did not have the facilities to accommodate this sort of activity.

Of the Bauhäusler, Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, and Joost Schmidt were most associated with letter design. Albers’s was able to commercialize his stencil experiments; his Kombinationschrift was released as a series of patterns for glass makers. Herbert Bayer, who left his teaching post at the Bauhaus in 1928, published a typeface named Bayer-Type through the Berthold type foundry in the 1930s. His drawings for the Universal-Alfabet, first published in Offset in 1926, have often since been reproduced. These drawings would go on to inspire later typeface designs in later decades, most notably the 1975 ITC Bauhaus family drawn by Ed Benguiat and Victor Caruso in New York (figure 1). Beginning in 1925, Joost Schmidt—who drew several of the iconic 1923 Weimar Bauhaus exhibition posters—began teaching a class for Schrift. The best-possible English-language translation for this is probably “lettering.” It was the first course of its kind at the school, but was not a very significant part of the curriculum. Students in the Vorkurs, or foundation, received two hours of Schrift instruction per week, for two semesters.

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  1. The Bauhaus was an early 20th century German design school founded in Weimar, which later moved to Dessau and Berlin before closing in 1933. []
  2. The Bauhaus posters and use of typography in printed items—such as the Bauhaus Books series—were avant garde. This work was considered new, and was documented in external sources, such as Jan Tschichold’s “Elementar Typographie,” Typographische Mitteilungen. Berlin: Verlag des Bildungverbandes der deutschen Buchdrucker. Special issue (1925). []

Support Linotype: The Film

“Linotype: The Film” Interview Excerpts from Linotype: The Film on Vimeo.

Dough Wilson, director of the upcoming Linotype: The Film, has just launched a Kickstarter project to help him and his team get over the top. If all goes well, the film should premiere in 2012. I kicked in $50 because Dough is pretty awesome, and because Linotype: The Film is a documentary that I want to see.

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Typejockeys 3-Year Anniversary

It is of great pleasure to me that when I look back at my own career to-date, I was present at the creation of some things that are pretty hot. Like the Typejockeys, for example. Michael Hochleitner is an old student colleague of mine; we were both part of the MATD class of 2008 at the University of Reading. Sometime during the summer of 2007, Gerry Leondas sent an e-mail out to all of us who had been accepted into the course. Before reading any of Gerry’s text, I look at the list of recipients in the email. One of the addresses was to a domain called typejockeys.com. I entered the URL into Safari, and saw a screen that read, “the Typejockeys are coming.” But the site betrayed no other information.

A few months later, Michi explained the concept to me: the Typejockeys were not a company yet, but more of a pact. Michi, Anna Fahrmaier, and Thomas Gabriel had all studied together at a Vienna design school called die Graphische. From 2006–2007, Thomas studied type design on the type]media course at KABK in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, before heading off to England, Michi went to work at an other Vienna company. Anna moved to Germany, to get valuable real-world graphic design experience of her own. Once Michi’s year in Reading was over, the three planned to return to Vienna and start the Typejockeys business for real.

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Füssel Bodoni lecture in Essen

Bodoni Book

Prof. Ralf de Jong just informed me about an exciting lecture on Wednesday, February 2nd, in Essen (Germany). Prof. Dr. Stephan Füssel will speak about the life and work of Giambattista Bodoni, in particular the Manuale Tipografico. Füssel is responsible for the recent republication of Bodoni’s Manuale Tipografico at Taschen, Manual of Typography. I will be in San Francisco on February 2nd, but I saw a similar presentation of Füssel’s at the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, back in November. I also bought the Manual of Typography reprint at that event. Whether you are interested in Bodoni, in type specimen, or in the process behind the Taschen em>Manual of Typography, this talk should have something for everyone in the typography and book design fields. I encourage everyone in the Rührgebiet—or within easy access of it—to attend the lecture. The German information about the event, as well as an image of the event’s poster, follow below…

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Jost Hochuli in Berlin!

I’ve already run across news of some awesomeness headed for Berlin this week, but here is a detailed (German-language) run-down, from the folks over at Slanted:

Vom 04.01.2011 bis 22.01.2011 (08:00-20:00h) findet im Foyer Bo.01 der Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin eine Ausstellung zum Thema «Buchgestaltung in St. Gallen« statt. Das Fachgebiet Visuelle Kommunikation lädt zur Ausstellung »Buchgestaltung in St. Gallen« ein. Die Herstellung schöner Bücher hat im schweizerischen St. Gallen seit Mitte des letzten Jahrhunderts einen besonderen Stellenwert. Es wird ein Überblick über 60 Jahre buchgestalterisches Schaffen gezeigt. Der Typograph und Buchgestalter Jost Hochuli wird die Ausstellung, am Do, 6.1. um 17.00 Uhr mit einem kleinen Referat eröffnen.

Freitag, 7.1., 16.00 Uhr Führung
17.00 Uhr: Podiumsdiskussion »Buchgestaltung in St. Gallen – Fußnoten und Kommentare« in der Kaufhalle, Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Gustav-Adolf-Straße 140, 13086 Berlin (fußläufig zur Hochschule). Moderation: Roland Früh (Kunsthistoriker und Publizist ), Teilnehmer u.a. Jost Hochuli, Roland Stieger und Gaston Isoz. Weitere Infos unter www.kh-berlin.de

Unfortunately, as I have to be in Bad Homburg on Thursday, I won’t be able to attend Jost Hochuli’s lecture that evening. Due to another scheduling conflict on Friday, I won’t be able to be in Weißensee until about 6pm, either! But I am totally going to make it to school on Friday evening … sometime. See you there?
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Communication Arts type competition

Communication Arts typography competition

I just got word of a new typography competition from the Communication Arts staff. Communication Arts are organizing it themselves. Among other things, there is a type design category. Plus, the jury includes Stephen Coles. If you put Stephen’s name in a press release, I will almost always repost it (this is the only hint that I will give marketeers… I really prefer not to publish other people’s press releases on this website). Rounding out the jury are Allan Haley—a colleague of mine at Monotype Imaging—and Ellen Lupton, clearly one of the most prolific typographic writer/designer/critic/educator personalities in the United States. It all sounds like it could be great fun! Here is the information that they sent me:

Communication Arts, the leading professional journal for visual communications, has launched a new Typography competition to celebrate the best use of typography as the primary visual element in design and advertising, plus new typeface designs, calligraphy and handlettering. Categories include collateral, packaging, media, motion, environmental typeface design, calligraphy/handlettering and unpublished/experimental.

The deadline is September 10, 2010.

Jurors include Stephen Coles, type director at the FontShop and editor of Typographica; Allan Haley, director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging and past president of the New York Type Directors Club; and Ellen Lupton, designer, curator, critic and author of Thinking with Type.

Their selections will be showcased on www.commarts.com and reproduced in the January/February 2011 issue of Communication Arts. More than 50,000 copies of the issue will be distributed worldwide assuring important exposure to the creators and publishers of these award-winning projects.

Submission requirements and FAQs can be found at: http://www.commarts.com/competitions/typography

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