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How did a global media & publishing firm save 30% in spend with a font management solution?

Font Management ROI

 

The Company

Font management plays a key role at SANDOW, a rapidly growing global publishing and media company with brands spanning design, luxury, fashion and beauty. SANDOW’s rapid growth not only brought an ever expanding list of brands, but with each brand came their own sets of fonts. This skyrocketed SANDOW’s font collection into the tens of thousands making the need for effective font management critical.

We sat down with Michael Shavalier, Director of Creative Operations at SANDOW and asked him a few questions about his font management challenges and how they were resolved.

Extensis: Why are fonts and managing them so important to SANDOW?

Michael: Being a publishing and media company with magazines and websites that span the globe, fonts are a key component to our business. Brand consistency and license compliance are at the top of the list where fonts are concerned.

Each brand has its own fonts, which they should be able to manage. Even though the brands are well separated, there’s a lot of synergy and cross-pollination between brands. There are separate design groups, but at the same time there is some overlap.

Download SANDOW’s case study. Learn more about how they reduced cost by implementing a font management solution.

 

The Challenge

Michael: One of the biggest problems our designers had is when they were asked to do something across brands. They had to load the other brand’s version of the font, and may have conflicted with other fonts on their system. Sometimes they had to spend a good deal of time trying to work through the glitches of having font conflicts which wasn’t productive or efficient. Now, with a centralized system that manages our fonts, we’re able to identify the font right away and make sure everyone is using the same version. It’s one less thing for everyone to manage. We now know across all brands which font is needed, where it is, or where it should come from and if we’ve got enough licenses. I don’t see many emails anymore saying “this brand is using this weird font, and I don’t know where to get it from”.

Extensis: What were the biggest challenges that lead you to implement a font manager?

Michael: As the company grew and became a little more corporate – taking on more and more smaller companies and brands – we had to integrate everyone. One of the problems we realized pretty quickly is, like so many startup companies, we had buckets of fonts. They were either on servers or people’s desktops, or you’d find 15 copies of the same font, or 30 copies of Helvetica but they weren’t the same. I’d venture to say we had tens of thousands of fonts.

It was really causing a lot of havoc with the design teams, and it was also causing concerns about compliance.

The Solution

SANDOW already had a different font management solution in place, but when they experienced limitations in their ability to manage groups effectively, instability with other key applications and technical support that was non-existent, they made the switch to Universal Type Server. Since making the switch, they have experienced 10,000 fewer fonts, a reduction in IT Requests by almost 60%, and a 30% reduction in spend.

Extensis: Where are you today with fully implementing font management at SANDOW?

Michael: Our first phase was basically to replace the other font manager for every user that was on it. We’re replacing it all now and we’re pretty close to being done. That would be at least three of our main brand groups.

Michael: The font manager we had been using previously fell short in critical areas, in particular control in setting up users and groups, serving out fonts to them and in addition lack of technical support. Universal Type Server has given us the control we need and has excellent technical support.

Learn more about SANDOW and their font management success. Read the their full interview or download their Case Study.

For more on font management best practices, download our font management best practices guide


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New Year’s tends to bring a few traditions you can always count on. Champagne, Auld Lang Syne—and the inevitable yearly predictions listicles. With 2017 around the corner, we’ve been anticipating these predictions and considering how to categorize and quantify what we’ve seen in the world of typography. Our conclusion for the year: track the technology and you’ll find the trends.

There are an estimated 2 billion smartphone users in the world, and the average American spends anywhere from 5 to 11 hours per day using electronic media. Unsurprisingly, typography trends have been influenced by the challenge to increase readability, aesthetic desirability, and language-accessibility across multiple media platforms. Most people in the U.S., for example, are not only using a laptop or smartphone, but a combination of many gadgets that have access to the ever-growing Internet.

Generally speaking, predictions articles fall into one of two categories: aesthetic trends and industry or functionality trends. We’ve seen technology heavily influence both. Here are five trends that we found particularly exciting to watch this year:

1. Custom Fonts

Custom fonts were a hit this year, as tech giants created custom typefaces for their latest devices. Readability was widely debated among techies, artists, and internet-users alike. Amazon created a typeface called Bookerly to decrease eyestrain for Kindle readers. Google launched Product Sans and Apple created the typeface San Francisco for the Apple Watch. Meanwhile, new tools like Prototypo and FontArk were introduced to help typographers create custom typefaces to meet the marketing, branding, and creative needs of clients who want to keep up technologically and aesthetically with these tech giants.

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Bookerly by Amazon

2. Responsive Typography

Another trend driven by increased consumer demand for readability and accessibility, responsive typography went mainstream this year—and with good reason. Not only are we spending more time online, we are doing so across numerous platforms, often simultaneously. Anyone looking to brand, market, or share anything on the Internet is now hard-pressed to ensure that their reader can do so on their desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or any other tool they may be using to access information. Responsive typography has made major strides in solving for this issue, and has become more accessible to designers who must get their message across to large and diverse audiences.

 

Branding for San Francisco’s Social Innovation Week

Aurelio Sanchez Escudero designed the branding for San Francisco’s Social Innovation Week using responsive typography, bold colors, and icons.

3. Personable Font Selections: Watercolor, Handwriting, Script, Grunge, and Caps

So readability and accessibility are essential. But typography is still an expressive art form. Typographers have been tasked with utilizing technology to enhance the practicality of their art, while creating work that is inventive, fresh, and beautiful. 2016 saw an increased use of watercolor, script, retro fonts, grunge, hand-lettering, and titles in all caps.

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Most of these trends touch on how we are consuming—and, perhaps, feeling—about the greater technological advances. As we’ve spent more time on our phones and computers, and less time with older, more traditional types and texts, a sense of nostalgia seems to have grown. Some artists have been making their mark with handmade lettering, while others have paid tribute to the bright, whimsical signs and symbols of the pre-internet-boom 80s. In a time when many of us threaten to spend increasingly more time with machines than with one another, it seems that we’ve wanted to humanize our online text and media.

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4. Innovative Fonts & Accessibility

The public response to the hand-lettering craze has been significant enough to push many designers to digitize their work. These lettering trends coupled with new font technology and availability has brought the “font game” to a new level. From small foundries to larger corporations, a number of new and exciting fonts were released this year.

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Even more thrilling, artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs were busy inventing and innovating in ways that were both cross-cultural and multi-lingual. A large Norwegian study was conducted on readability for the visually impaired; Comicraft artists took on the ambitious project of inventing hand-lettered fonts in Japanese, Taiwanese, and Chinese. And two Guinean brothers hit the ground running and invented a script that would make their native language available on every smartphone. As font accessibility grows, we expect this trend in font innovation to continue.

photo-6_comicraft5. Variable Fonts

Apple, Google, and Microsoft teamed up and launched variable fonts this September. The gathering of these tech giants marks the beginning of a new age in typography. Instead of downloading separate files for every font style and width, variable fonts allow developers to place everything in one, highly optimized file. We are eager to see how and when this trend will grow, and whether it will go mainstream in 2017.

Because that, after all, is the question of the hour: What will happen in 2017? What do we anticipate? What will take us by surprise? What trends are you seeing? What have we missed? Where will the technology and our typography take us next? Let us know! And—

Happy New Year from all of us at Extensis.

 

Want to learn more about type trends? Check out Getting Free Fonts From Google Fonts.


4Q4 End of 2016

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This year we had the pleasure of interviewing type designers, foundry founders, art directors, educators, calligraphers, graphic designers, hand-letterers, and more. Our 4 Questions 4 series showcased these ultimate typographical innovators and some of their stories. We asked each artist four questions, and they shared what led them to typography, which trends they were admiring, the projects in which they took the most pride, and their dream projects.

As 2016 draws to a close, we want to celebrate the project by thanking our 4 Questions 4 contributors, and sharing a few of their excellent responses.

1.    How did you originally get interested in typography and design?

“I used to make little teen magazines as a kid – tiny folded spreads about the Jackson 5 and the Partridge Family.” – Gail Anderson 

Many of our interviewees are like Anderson; they’ve been involved with art and typography since a young age. Going back through all of our 2016 interviews, we are inspired by the number of grandparents, teachers, and friends who encouraged our budding type-stars.

Roger Black’s dad was an architect. “While grounded in history,” Black said, “my father was an individualist, and he said that good designers should have their own styles.” Alejandro Lo Celso’s father and grandfather were architects, too, and his grandmother was a calligrapher. Of his early influences, he said: “it came naturally.” Even for those designers who did not necessarily have artistically inclined families, early exposures and positive encounters with art were important motivators. Dan Rhatigan recalled: “Although I thought I wanted to draw comic books when I was growing up, my time helping with my high school newspaper really exposed a much greater love for design and playing with type.”

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Type design by Sumner Stone

2.    What typography trends are you loving these days?

“Hand lettering…. We live in such a digital world nowadays that anything made with evidence of the human hand has become something special.” – Alexandra Snowdon

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Hand Lettered Sign by Alexandra Snowdon

Many of our 4Q4 artists expressed a sentiment similar to Snowdon’s. The rise of hand lettering has been an exciting trend to follow, admire, and practice. Some of our interviewees explained it as a response to the internet boom; others cited improvements in web type and technology. “Web typography is no longer just trying to imitate print, but is developing into a culture of its own,” said Shoko Mugikura and Tim Ahrens. And Ludwig Übele rejoiced in aesthetic and functional typographic innovations. “The quality of use releases creative energies!” Übele exclaimed. Jackson Cavanaugh also acknowledged that graphic designers have been more committed to creative type. “Designers are looking for more expression and authenticity,” Cavanaugh said, “and this is opening the door for some people doing really interesting (and great) work.”

Our foundry founders and type makers chimed in as well. As a font creator, David Berlow considered his relationship with trends. “As a tool maker,” Berlow considered, “I love what I’m making for others to use, and when I let it go, I love the next one.” According to Berlow, trends are for those consuming his work to decide, while he moves on to the next creation. Alejandro Lo Celso summed up Berlow’s ideas saying, “A typeface you publish is like a daughter that leaves home and makes her own path. One day she comes back home with a boyfriend… and who knows if you’ll like him.”

3.  Which of your projects are you most proud of thus far in your career, and why? 

From window displays to experimental multicolored designs, our interviewees had ample projects to be proud of. The range of creations were impressive, and the reasons to consider them fondly were even more endearing. A few of our artists were proud of the project that most challenged them. Kyle Bean described a highlight of his career by saying: “It was an amazing experience, but also kind of terrifying.” Bean wasn’t alone in embracing fear to create an unforgettable product. Chank Diesel is most proud of his Liquorstore font, which was used on the cover of the Hunger Games and Zodiac Legacy books, “because it’s taken a long time to mature but it looks stronger than ever now.”

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Design by Kyle Bean

The struggle and the pride that comes with tackling a challenge were echoed throughout many interviews. Laura Worthington talked about Charcuterie, which she designed in 2013. “Very few collections were out at the time, and the concept of a collection was still very new,” Worthington said. She described Charcuterie’s launch as a huge risk, but one she continues to take pride in.

Artists are innovators, and innovation is driven not only by talent, but also by a willingness to take a risk, and step into the unknown.

4.    Describe your dream project.

“Hi, it’s Costa Rica calling. Would you mind coming over for some weeks to design a new typeface for our tourist board? We have a beautiful apartment for you at the sea.” – Ludwig Übele

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Erik Spiekermann with the font FF Real

 

Our artists’ dreams ranged from redesigning the information system on Germany’s highway to working with the Detroit Red Wings hockey team. Other artists were nostalgic, dreaming of finishing the first typeface they ever designed. However, on the whole, most were either content in the present or eagerly looking forward to the future. Roger Black was especially enthused about his present work. “It’s always the current project!” he said proudly. Mark Simonson felt similarly saying, “I don’t think I have a ‘dream project.’ I’ve always tended to follow my interests wherever they might lead.” David Carson mentioned enjoying projects that give him creative freedom, or a new topic or audience, but he agreed that he’s done some of his “dream jobs” already. Our future-facing artists dreamed of working with large design-conscious brands and good-hearted non-profits alike; they were excited to produce work across a series of platforms, and to get into the details of typesetting.

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Design by David Partyka

Others dreamed of travel, guided by their passion for type. “My dream project starts with: ‘And so we’re sending you to Italy for a few months…’ Enough said.” We think so, too, Anderson.

We wish each of our 2016 interviewees good luck on their current projects, dream projects, and beyond. From those who felt “inside the dream” to the artists on the brink of the next best thing, we are grateful for your tenacity and creativity and look forward to all that you will accomplish in 2017!


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Everyone in Information Technology has something to celebrate this month!

Extensis has joined forces with the International Association of Information Technology Association (IAITAM) to expand the IAITAM’s educational offerings.

iaitam member logo

To help kick off the partnership, Extensis is hosting a webinar about font compliance:  “Fonts? You mean I have to worry about compliance there too?”.

Extensis will be providing training and educational content relating to font management and digital asset management to help IT Managers at the association develop effective solutions.

 

The IAITAM is a global organization that helps individuals and businesses in any aspect of IT Asset Management, Software Asset Management, Hardware Asset Management, and the lifecycle processes supporting IT Asset Management in organizations of every size and industry around the world.

To learn more about the IAITAM and Extensis’ Webinar, click here.


Interview with Jay Roeder

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When Jay Roeder didn’t know an answer to a math problem in grade school, he did what he knew best: he drew a Ninja Turtle. “I still think that this was the best possible answer to the problem,” Jay told us in an exclusive interview on his work, influences, and upcoming projects. Jay is a freelance illustrator and designer who, like many artists, couldn’t keep himself from making art as a kid. His work is filled with throwback items like boomboxes and Ninja Turtles and we got to talk with him about what drives his nostalgia. He focuses on hand-lettering and has worked with a number of notable brands, including Nike, TV Land, GAP and Monster.com. He is proud to be an obsessed letterer, and he is a big fan of Extensis, retro games, sneakers and coffee. 

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Check out his interview here:

How would you describe your work and your overall aesthetic?

JAY: I love describing my hand-lettering style as embraced imperfection. Being a perfectionist, it was not until I learned how to accept the crooked lines, misaligned type and illegibility that my lettering took on character and interest. As odd as it seems, these imperfections can have just as much craft as perfection. If you look at any great hand lettering artist’s work, you will see these “errors” are not accidents at all.

How have your early influences and/or feelings of nostalgia influenced your work?

JAY: A lot of my art is nostalgia based, and some of that has to do with memories I have of growing up in Minnesota. Things like boomboxes, Nintendo, and Ninja Turtles were a big part of my childhood, which is why I can’t stop drawing them, even in a lot of the work I do today.

 

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How would you describe your journey from a “childhood doodler” to a professional artist with agency and teaching experience?

JAY: While most kids wanted to be firemen or astronauts, I knew I’d pursue a career in the arts at a young age. If you looked at my homework throughout grade school, you would think that every class was an art class because I drew racecars and ninja turtles on virtually everything. I remember one such story when I didn’t know the answer to a math problem, so I simply drew a Ninja Turtle’s head in the answer space – I still think that this was the best possible answer to that problem. When I graduated from college, I worked at several agencies and did hand-lettering in my free time. I posted drawings to my website (www.jayroeder.com) and eventually clients started to reach out with larger projects. Eventually I decided to go out on my own, which has been the best decision I have ever made. I have also stayed in touch with the design department at my alma mater and have taught design classes for them, as an adjunct professor.

How do you balance the work you do with agencies and your personal work?

JAY: Balancing my agency and personal work is one of the most challenging aspects of what I do. So many people imagine the freelance lifestyle as being extremely flexible, but don’t take into account the effects of ceaseless project demands and an always on the clock mentality. Six years ago, when I first started out on my own, I quickly realized that nothing is guaranteed in the world of freelancing. I accepted every project that was presented to me, even if it meant working unhealthy hours. On the verge of burning out, it wasn’t until about 2 years in that I really gained the confidence to say “no” to certain projects and to work with my clients on building out timelines that worked for both parties when possible.

 

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We heard that you’re an Extensis fan! How do you use the software and how has it impacted your work?

JAY: I am a huge fan of Extensis, and specifically Suitcase Fusion. It impacts my work every day, to be completely honest. As someone who prides himself on typography you can see the obvious correlation. Suitcase saves me A TON of time when I’m searching for the right typeface. I also use it as an inspirational tool when I am working on hand-lettering projects that require me to emulate a certain style of font. It’s been a great product that I have used for over ten years.

Whose work are you admiring these days?

JAY: There are so many artists that I admire, but two that stand out are Jon Contino and McBess. There are aspects of both of these artists that I find extremely inspiring, whether it be McBess’s vintage cartoon inspired worlds, or Jon Contino’s ability to combine old and new world aesthetics into his style. Please look into both artists if you haven’t and be prepared to be inspired.

Have any of your commercial projects particularly resonated with you on a personal level? Which ones?

 JAY: Every once and a while a brand that I am a fan of reaches out to do a project. In one such case – Beer Advocate magazine recently had me do the cover artwork for their 10th anniversary issue, which is currently on newsstands so keep your eyes out! Aside from that, I have worked with so many amazing brands, some of which include: Nike, Ray Ban, Facebook, MTV and Urban Outfitters. I absolutely love what I do, and I hope people can see that in my work.

 

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What advice do you have for young designers?

JAY: I few years ago I read an article on Milton Glaser, which had a very simple piece of advice, but great nonetheless. If anyone doesn’t know who Milton is, he’s an icon in the design industry; you’ve probably seen his work, he’s responsible for the “I heart NY” and Brooklyn Brewery logos. The quote was, “Do good work.” I think this simple yet fundamental advice is invaluable and can be a deadly combination when paired up with motivation. If you do good work and work hard, everything else will fall in place. Also, drink lots and lots of coffee.

You’re truly living the dream, having transformed your passion into an admirable career. What’s next for you?

 JAY: I am so fortunate to have a career that is also my passion. The plan is to continue to grow my business and see where it takes me!

Check out Jay’s website: www.jayroeder.com

And follow him on Instagram and Twitter: @jayroeder

 


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Alejandro Lo Celso is the founder and princpal type designer at the font foundry PampaType, the very first digital type foundry in Argentina, which pioneered the latest wave in Latin American type design. PampaType’s broadly recognized and internationally prized designs are handcrafted following visual, rather than mathematical methods. We’re so glad that Alejandro joined us for this latest edition of 4 Questions 4.

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1. How did you originally get interested in typography and design?

Typography is the encounter of design and literature. I’ve always thought that typography was my safe escape from the commercial world of graphic design. But when I recall my family stimuli, I realize it all came naturally. My grandmother had a taste for calligraphy: she used to draw in fine blackletter on all the title pages of my mother and her brothers’ schoolbooks. And she loved literature. My mother became a historian, and now she paints. On the other side, my grandfather was an architect and an artist, and my own father is an architect too, and an urbanist. I find myself playing in between all these universes.

2. What typography trends are you loving most these days?

I’m not particularly interested in trends; they change too quickly. I prefer to think of typography as the materialization of more perennial words. I love books and reading, and I love the idea of creating typefaces that are comfortable to read. On the other hand, a typeface you publish is like a daughter that leaves home and makes her own path. One day she comes back home with a boyfriend… and who knows if you’ll like him.

3. Which of your projects are you most proud of thus far in your career and why?

garonne_specgaronne_expoThere are several. As a teacher I’m proud of having run many workshops and courses in many places. I think I’ve been a privileged apprentice to those experiences. I led the small team that created Garonne, a tailored type system for the city of Toulouse in France. That was a wonderful and quite unusual experience.

In 2013 we were invited by a Mexican art school to put together a large exhibition of our work in type design. The gallery was approximately 2,000 square feet, we had only 14 days to mount it, and had to coordinate the efforts of 20 people who kindly came to help. It was a great success in the end.

PampaType is now growing our type library on a collective basis. A great challenge for me today is taking care of the work of other designers, and trying to help them reach their highest capabilities.

4. Describe your dream project.

That’s a hard question to answer. I guess I don’t really dream of the unreachable, the far beyond. I’m currently working on a type system for the public university here. That is an awesome project that I didn’t imagine I’d ever do, one day. I could say it is a dream project, but actually I am inside the dream!

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Alexandra Snowdon‘s love for art and typography began at a young age, and her commitment to learning, traveling, and experiencing the world is reflected in her skilled designs. In 2010 Alexandra launched her own business, Snowdon Design & Craft, which has grown to include two successful online shops that sell her designs, as well as partnerships with independent retailers. We’re glad to share Alexandra’s thoughts on her work, her goals, and traveling around the world to find what really matters. Check out her 4 Questions 4 interview below.

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1. How did you originally get interested in typography and design?

I started off when I was quite young. My grandpa was a commercial artist and I spent a lot of time with him during school holidays. I loved watching him hand-letter posters and signs with brushes and ink. Art was my favorite subject at school, so I was absolutely fascinated with the whole process. He picked up on my interest and encouraged me to follow a creative path, so I have a lot to thank him for. When I got to art college I felt naturally drawn to graphic design because I’ve always loved typography in all its forms. I was only a couple of years into my graphic design career, however, when the whole industry went digital. I began to really miss the hands-on aspect of designing, and felt that I was losing my drawing skills. Years went by and I felt increasingly disillusioned. I took a year off to go traveling in my mid-thirties, and when I got back I decided to go to university part-time, and concentrate on developing my illustration skills. Most of my assignments involved combining lettering and illustration. I soon came to realize that hand-lettering was the thing I did best by far. A couple of years after graduating, I was in a position to leave my graphic design job and become a full-time illustrator and hand-lettering artist. I’ve never looked back.

2. What typography trends are you loving most these days?

It would have to be hand lettering. I think it’s definitely here for the long term. It’s great to have that contrast between clean, sharp, digital fonts and the organic warmth of hand-lettering, with all its flaws and imperfections. In some ways things have come full circle. We live in such a digital world nowadays that anything made with evidence of the human hand has become something special.

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3. Which of your projects are you most proud of thus far in your career, and why?

I think it would have to be the large-scale hand-painted sign I did for a local gallery. It was based on a quote about creativity by Einstein. I did it using chalk paints with the letters painted white on a black background. It was without a doubt the most challenging project I’ve ever worked on. I usually work on quite a small scale, sitting at my desk, drawing and redrawing letters on pieces of paper until I’m happy with them. Then there’s always the option of tidying the work up and making small tweaks digitally until it looks just right. But all that comfort was taken away when I had to paint the letters directly onto the chalkboard, and had only one shot to get it right. I felt sick every time I worked on it, but in a good way. I was pretty happy with the end result! It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it had a lot of character. I think that sums up the essence of hand-lettering: all its kinks and quirks are the very things that give it life.

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4. Describe your dream project.

I’d love to do a book of hand-lettered quotations. A few years ago I set myself the challenge of illustrating one quote every week for 12 months. It was sometimes difficult finding the time to fit it in, but my lettering skills really improved as the year went on. I posted them all on social media, and ended up getting quite a bit of work through them. I’d love to do something like that again.

 

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Font Founders #5: Max Miedinger

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As a young man, Max Miedinger (1910-1980) was trained as a typesetter in Zurich, Switzerland. He became a typographer for Globus department store’s advertising studio in 1936. From 1947-56 he was a customer counselor and typeface sales representative for the Haas’sche Schriftgießerei in Münchenstein near Basle. In 1956 Miedinger went freelance when Eduard Hoffmann, the director of the Haas’sche Schriftgießerei, commissioned him to develop a new sans-serif typeface. His typeface Haas-Grotesk was introduced in 1957. But in 1960, the name of the typeface was changed—to Helvetica.

Cool font, Max.

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jan-tschichold

Today we’re celebrating typographer, book designer, teacher, and writer Jan Tschichold. The son of a provincial sign writer, Tschichold trained in calligraphy. His artisan background and calligraphic training set him apart from almost all other noted typographers of the time. As an adult he took a job as a teacher in Munich, but after Hitler came to power, all designers had to register with the Ministry of Culture, and all teaching posts were threatened for anyone who was sympathetic to communism. Tschichold was denounced as a “cultural Bolshevist” and, ten days after the Nazis came to power in 1933, he and his wife were arrested. After six weeks a policeman somehow found him tickets for Switzerland, and he and his family escaped. Tschichold lived in Switzerland for the rest of his life.


4 Questions 4… Kyle Bean

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Kyle Bean is a London-based artist who creates handcrafted designs, tactile illustrations, and playful, concept-driven imagery and animations for a variety of editorial and commercial projects. His work is usually characterized by a whimsical and meticulous reappropriation of everyday materials and handcrafted techniques. We’re so delighted that Kyle joined us for a special edition of 4 Questions 4 to talk about his typographic work, his design work generally, and more.

Architecture and Interior Photography by Jim Stephenson

Photograph by Jim Stephenson

1. How did you originally get interested in art and design?

As far as I remember, I have always been interested in creative things. I suppose it stems back to my childhood, when I would spend hours of the day either building something out of Legos—or, indeed, out of cardboard boxes and toilet rolls! I did a lot of drawing as a child, too, and because I often struggled with more academic subjects, this became something my teachers and peers encouraged me to develop outside of school. By the time I finished school I was very determined to pursue some kind of creative career. I just didn’t know what it would be at that point.

2. Which of your projects are you most proud of thus far in your career, and why?

There are a few I could pick out as highlights in my career.

The first was probably in 2011, when I designed and produced a set of window displays for Selfridges on the theme of ’Transformation.’ It was an amazing experience, but also kind of terrifying. I was only a couple of years out of university at this point, and so I was quite inexperienced at navigating such a large-scale project. Luckily the project cametogether fairly smoothly, and was a success. I had a lot of brilliant feedback, and having the windows on display for a whole summer got me a lot of exposure, which led to more exciting projects.

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A small personal project of mine which I am very proud of is my chicken and egg sculpture ‘What Came First?’ It was an idea I had for a long time but it wasn’t until I actually started to experiment with eggshells that things came together. I like visual play on words and this piece started a new direction in my work where I started experimenting and integrating materials in a more conceptual way into my work. It led to some very interesting editorial projects and has defined a lot of my work over the last few years.

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Finally, recently I worked on a series called ‘In Anxious Anticipation.’ This was a still life series for Kinfolk Magazine that I worked on in collaboration with photographer and friend Aaron Tilley. The series showcases a series of objects and set pieces where there is an underlying tension that something is about to happen. In one image we see a rock about to swing over a set of matches like they are about to be set alight. Our aim was to create a set of images that really create a reaction in the viewer. I’m very proud of the project as it set a slightly more abstract and conceptual direction for my work that seems to have resonated with the design community.

3. Does working with letterforms present any specific challenges or opportunities? 

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Some of the projects I have worked on have involved making some physical typography. I enjoy working with letterforms and particularly like doing something unexpected with them by making them out of everyday objects or constructing little model worlds with them. Of course, using objects and materials presents its own set of unique challenges. Keeping everything legible and yet with enough character is always a balancing act for me. Times when I have worked with typography have tended to lead on to some interesting projects though. A cover artwork I worked on for the Guardian for example led to some very interesting typographic work for Google. I think for me its important to experiment and with typography every now and then as its often a great way to communicate ideas—but still, for me, in a tactile way.

4. Describe your dream project.

I think my dream project would be something where I can produce work across a series of platforms.I am very lucky in that over the last 6 years I have worked in quite a few creative disciplines, from editorial illustration to window installations and stop-frame animations. My ideal project would be one where I can develop an idea to work across all of these platforms. That diversity appeals to me.

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