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.
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?
There 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!