Jürg Lehni and Peter Biľak in a conversation about the role of technology in type design, font formats and production tools, and Donald E. Knuth’s Metafont. Interview with Typotheque.
Welcome to 100designers - an inspirational site sharing interviews with leading graphic designers.
Take a peek inside the heads of some of the world’s greatest living graphic designers. How do they think, how do they connect to others, what special skills do they have? In these conversations they share their approaches, processes, opinions, and thoughts about their work, speaking frankly and openly about their aspirations and failures. It offers an opportunity to observe and understand the giants of the industry.
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The globalisation and homogenisation of design, legibility and communication and the history of Emigre magazine are discussed in this interview with its founder, Rudy VanderLans.
Some people say that thanks to the digital era, and mostly to cultural globalization, now we have a universal design language: universal codes of colors, icons, and so on. How does it fit with the original concept of Emigre, a magazine that shows how diverse the works from emigrants may be? Interview with Typotheque.
An interview from 2002 with the Font Bureau designer Tobias Frere-Jones, the creator of Gotham, Interstate and Garage Gothic to name just a few.
Frere-Jones is perhaps best known as the designer of Interstate, another sans serif typeface with industrial roots. First released in 1994, Interstate was based loosely on the font family Highway Gothic, used by the United States Federal Highway Administration for road signs. Despite the specificity of its origins, Interstate was embraced universally by graphic designers and has been used on most everything, including the 2000 U.S. Census. It is the most prominent result of the designer’s continuing interest in what he calls working class lettering. This interest began while he was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design where he designed the typeface Garage Gothic based on the typography of parking garage tickets. After graduating, Frere-Jones joined the digital type-foundry Font Bureau who had already released Garage Gothic. There he designed typefaces in every style, but continued his exploration of vernacular lettering with Interstate and another typeface, Pilsner, based on a French beer label. With these typefaces Frere-Jones preserves the humble letters that inspire them and creates type that resonates with life outside of typography and graphic design.
A native New Yorker, Frere-Jones’s work is as connected to his hometown as the name of his latest design. In fact, he has undertaken the task of ‘documenting anything extant and noteworthy’ in Manhattan. Gotham was inspired by a variety of unassuming, often derelict signs originally carved, painted, rendered in neon, and cast in steel or bronze on the facades of buildings throughout New York. It took an intimate knowledge of the city to see the formal and historical connections between these varied letterforms, but also a humble respect for metropolitan history to focus on such an unglamorous aspect of New York. By focusing on the mundane – even decrepit – corners of his environment with Gotham, Frere-Jones has created a typeface that carries with it the disorienting bustle of a walk in the city – the sense of being engulfed by a history that remains just out of reach. Interview with Typotheque.
Rudy VanderLans talks with Peter Biľak about the Typotheque founder’s education, design practice and experience as an ex-pat Slovak living in the Netherlands. Dot Dot Dot is discussed, as well as the typefaces Biľak has produced and his current teaching practice. Interview with Typotheque.
This book presents eleven interviews with renowned type designers and writers, interviewed by students of Type Media postgraduate course in type design. The students choose personalities whose work is related to their final project, where subjects can vary from Diwani (an Ottoman style of Arabic calligraphy), to Latin script typefaces at various optical sizes, to concepts based on the national characteristics of type. ’158 answers’, published by type]media (2009/2010).
‘I have more reasons to make fonts than ever … typeface design is a cumulative process, there are more possible entry points, more references, more inspiration than ever before. As with books, when you engage in reading, it points to more books … you might appreciate the ones you read early on more, because of your new understanding.’ Interview with Eye Magazine.