Category: Typographers for Designers

Video Critique-Project 3


Typographers for Designers- Adrian Frutiger

Biography and Typefaces

For more than 45 years the Swiss type designer Adrian Frutiger, born in 1928, has been a hugely influential figure in typography. After an apprenticeship as a compositor in Interlaken, he studied from 1949-51 at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Zurich. In 1952 he as hired by Charles Peignot, of the type foundry Deberny & Peignot, as a youthful artistic director. After initial acclaim for his font Méridien (1954) Frutiger soon established an international reputation by designing the Univers family of sans serif faces (1954-57). Other typefaces designed by Frutiger include Avenir, Centennial, Egyptienne, Glyphia, Iridium, Icone, OCR-B (the standard alphabet for optical character recognition) Seifa and Versailles, plus in-house typefaces for corporations such as BP and Shiseido. In 1960, Frutiger established a design studio with Andre Gürtler and Bruno Pfäffli, His commissions have included logotypes, signage systems and maps, with clients such as Air France, IBM and the Swiss Post Office.

My Description

This is typeface family that interests me because it’s uses are in everything. From gas stations to computer system brand even the Apple keyboard. The main thing about this is that most people don’t even know about it until reminded. Out of the T.o.D posts I’ve done over the weeks before, this is one I’ll remember for awhile.


Typographers for Designers-Herbert Bayer


Born just in the beginning of 20 th century – 5 April 1900 in Haag, Austria, he grew up under the influence of the avant-garde movement and the fast changing environment and technologically revolutionary years. Bayer (among other famous graphic artists like El Lissitsky, Aleksander Rodchenko, Laszlo Maholy-Nagy) believed in the power that design has in influencing society. The designers were “putting the chaos of life into rational forms” (Armstrong, 2009, p.13) and slowly, but surely, were changing the world. Finding inspiration in the functionality and efficiency of the machines, Bayer worked in the spirit of order and clarity. At 20, he entered the famous German school of design – the Bauhaus, to become one of the most important and influential artists, whose style, with time, has turned into a symbol of the Bauhaus itself – reflecting all of the school’s believes, accomplishments and innovations. And it is there, where he found not only his talent and passion for typography, but also one for photography. Influenced by Kandinski and Maholy-Nagy, Bayer also developed a strong interest in painting and photo manipulation.

Type Summary

Universal, conforming strictly to the principles of The New Typography features letterforms reduced to their bare essentials. Bayer removed capitals letters and serifs. Within Universal Bayer removed the need for upper and lower cases, resulting in the one character set, each letter form from only straight lines and circles. Bayer argued that as the spoken word does not require two cases, why should the written one. Unlike Albers’ ‘stencil’, ‘universal’ does not conform to be modular.

My Description
Personally I find this typeface more stencil like when in different colors and strokes.  It’ll seem much more useful in a children’s book.


Typographers for Designers- Eric Gill

This one’s a bit strange to me…..

Bio Summary

“Gill was born in 1882 in Steyning, Sussex, and grew up in the Brighton suburb of Preston Park. He was the elder brother of MacDonald  Gill (1884–1947), the well known graphic artist. In 1897 the family moved to Chichester. He studied at Chichester Technical and Art School, and in 1900 moved to London to train as an architect with the practice of W.D. Caroe, specialists in ecclesiastical architecture. Frustrated with his training, he took evening classes in stonemasonry at Westminster Technical Institute and in calligraphy at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, where Edward Johnston, creator of the London Underground typeface, became a strong influence. In 1903 he gave up his architectural training to become a calligrapher, letter-cutter and monumental mason.”

Type Summary

“In 1925 he designed the Perpetua typeface, with the uppercase based upon monumental Roman inscriptions, for Morison, who was working for the Monotype Corporation. An in-situ example of Gill’s design and personal cutting in the style of Perpetua can be found in the nave of Polingchurch in West Sussex, on a wall plaque commemorating the life of Sir Harry Johnston. He designed the Gill Sans typeface in 1927–30, based on the sans-serif lettering originally designed for the London Underground. (Gill had collaborated with Edward Johnston in the early design of the Underground typeface, but dropped out of the project before it was completed.) In the period 1930–31 Gill designed the typeface Joanna which he used to hand-set his book, An Essay on Typography.”

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My Description

It does have some traits that of New Times Roman that’s easily recognizable other than that it’s a pretty average font to use. Still, I find this font kind of mediocre and almost no use but for typing out blogs and papers like these.

Typography for Designers- Alexander Rodchenko

We’re back in Europe to discuss a fonts and typefaces.

Artist Summery:


“Alexander Rodchenko is perhaps the most important avant-garde artist to have put his art in the service of political revolution. In this regard, his career is a model of the clash between modern art and radical politics. He emerged as a fairly conventional painter, but his encounters with Russian Futurists propelled him to become an influential founder of theConstructivist movement. And his commitment to the Russian Revolution subsequently encouraged him to abandon first painting and then fine art in its entirety, and to instead put his skills in the service of industry and the state, designing everything from advertisements to book covers. His life’s work was a ceaseless experiment with an extraordinary array of media, from painting and sculpture to graphic design and photography. Later in his career, however, the increasingly repressive policies targeted against modern artists in Russia led him to return to painting.”


My Description:

It does remind me of those USSR propaganda posters in the Cold War. Its bold and solid state is easily recognizable when comparing both the font and Russian personality and useful when in junction with faded colors and most of all, the color red(go figure…). This would enjoyable if working in the Kremlin in -20 degree weather, but thank God i’m not.

Still, its a good font.


Typographers for Designers- Fountain

This next typeface might be the most complex to understand right now, but it makes for a great piece to write on.

Foundry Summary:

“Fountain is an independent, friendly digital type foundry, owned and operated by Peter Bruhn. Our aim is to provide discerning clients with modern, well-crafted typefaces guaranteed to meet the most stringent requirements of aesthetics, legibility and originality.

To clients in need of a uniquely different visual identity, we offer custom typeface design, as well as improvement and adaptation of existing typefaces.”

“To designers looking for distinctive, fresh, contemporary typefaces, we offer a catalogue of original fonts available for on-line purchase.The history of Fountain began in Malmö, Sweden in 1993. Complementing his work as a creative director, Peter Bruhn formed his own company with the intention of creating distinctive typefaces within their own right. Those distinctive qualities were soon discovered internationally, and quickly found use in magazines, advertising, corporate identities, and other creative works.”

Type Summary:

“Robotron is a headline font mixing art-deco elements and the bitmap look and feel to something special, that could have been used in the Flash Gordon show.” –Dirk Uhlenbrock

My Description

It does have some kind of nostalgia about those old 60’s space or futuristic TV programs my grandma would watch, but other than that I find no connection with this type than age old nostalgia.


Typographers for Designers-LettError

Sorry for the delay, but once again I travel back to good old America to find some great typefaces; Courtesy of LettError.

Story of LettError

“We draw type, small and tall for web and print. Some fonts are licensed by House Industries and FontFont. Some fonts are available right here. We design stuff, build tools for designers and do research. Occasionally illustration and animation. We’ve been in business since 1989.”

Summary-FF Trixie

“Trixie was conceived when we figured out a way to digitize rough  unsmooth shapes and put them in fonts. A beta version of PhotoShop, Fontographer, a 300 dpi SCSI scanner and Adobe Streamline. This happened during the height of the Bezier regime: letters were getting smoother all the time, there was a need to roughen the world of typography a bit. Trixie was taken from a typed sample from a typewriter owned by a friend in Berlin, Beatrix Günther, or Trixie for short.

The sample was digitised, and two weights were derived from the original scans. Then a lot of tweaking and editing: in those days printers would choke on fonts larger than 40K. The rough outlines consist of many points and it was necessary to take out a fair number of them, but leaving the impression of roughness in tact.”

My Description

I would definitely use this typeface for suspense and/or mystery novel covers or content, but the use in programs like Illustrator or Indesign still alludes me. Just my opinion, this would be great for paperback books not for advertisement or business uses. Again I could be wrong.

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Typographers for Designers-Underware

For this entry, we’re going all the way to a Europe design collective to discuss fonts.

Established in 1999 by Akiem Helmling, Bas Jacobs and Sami Kortemaki, Underware (yes, that’s it’s name) has been designing typefaces and fonts for more than ten years. In that duration, they’ve also run a type radio station and conducted type workshops in Amsterdam and Den Haag.

As I looked on their site, it was once again hard to choose on a single type among all those present. But that lasted a quick two minutes and all I had to do was “trust the brush”.


“Bello is a brush typeface for headline point sizes – it’s big & beautiful! Bello comes in 2 different styles: script & all caps. To create a fluent brush-look, many ligatures have been implemented. They guarantee expressive but coherent texts which specially works well in large display sizes.

As the capitals in a script typeface like Bello are very swashy, they won’t combine well. Sometimes a text needs to be set all in capitals. For this purpose a different style has been created which shares the same feeling: Bello Caps.

Bello Words contains 62 pre-designed common English words. Their shadow can also be set in a different color by using a smart OpenType-feature.”

My Description:

This font reminds me of some of the oldie 60’s-70’s commercial ads that were being shown. Also, in my opinion even though we live in a digital world consumed in InDesign and Illustrator, this font is proof that brushstrokes and what they create are still effective today. Plus, it looks great on t-shirts (brownie points).


Typographers for Designers-Typotheque

Now this post is special on a digital perspective.


“Elementar was designed to bring more typographic flexibility to digital screens. It increases the available range of possibilities by exploring the pixel grid systematically using combinations of basic parameters. This parametric approach enables the generation of thousands of single fonts in different styles, heights, weights, widths, element shapes etc.”

“Elementar font names include their coordinates in relation to the parametric variation space, expressing their multi-dimensional nature in the conventional ‘family name’ + ‘style name’ format. Elementar styles are mapped to the family names, while height, weight and width are combined to form the style name.”

My Description:

I can see this mostly on those 8-bit Nintendo games that my parents love so dearly or if a client has some tech/digital theme they want for an advertisement. I find this font kind of fun  to use someday and yet feel some kind of nostalgia from my 1994 background, not that that’s a bad thing to have. All in all,

It’s a font that can be used both comically and seriously in the business of graphic design.


Typographers for Designers- Jonathon Barnbrook

Leave it the British to one up American typefaces.

That’s what Barnbrook did on his site, Virusfonts. The difficult thing was choosing which typeface that was amongst my favorite or most hated cause it was so packed and detailed. To the result I didn’t even try to write this post. So when in doubt, close your eyes and randomly click an area that’s hopefully not the close button and go from there. Fortunately, I came away with this beautiful typeface to post from.


“The DejaVu fonts are a font family based on the Vera Fonts. Its purpose is to provide a wider range of characters while maintaining the original look and feel through the process of collaborative development.”

“The Virus DejaVu project was conceived as a key element of the design for the visual identities for the Ukrainian cultural centre, Mystetskyi Arsenal and the first Kyiv Biennale of contemporary art, Arsenale 2012. Barnbrook’s decision to develop a pre-existing open source font project as the typographic bedrock of these visual identities was an active acknowledgement of contemporary developments in digital technology and creative online communities. An approach that placed the notion of collaboration ahead of refined aesthetics.”

My Description

I personally enjoy looking at this font. I mean the title itself speaks European or European-based locations. Now it did seem a little boring the first time I looked at it, so I had to see full sentences and paragraphs to convince me otherwise. Now I’m not fully convinced that this is the font or typeface that blows my mind, but it’s definitely one I’ll come to respect when applied by other means.