IdN Volume 26 | No 3 – Typeface Design Issue
Typeface in itself is not typography any more than an alphabet is a word, despite the intrinsic relationship of one to another. Words could not exist without an alphabet while an alphabet needs to form words to have a purpose.
IdN Volume 26 | No 3: Typeface Design Issue: Much More Than Mere Words
IdN Volume 26 | No 3: Typeface Design Issue | Perhaps the most romantic way of regarding typefaces is that they embody the unspoken messages in our words. And as such they affect us all, designers and non-designers alike. But a typeface in itself is not typography any more than an alphabet is a word, despite the intrinsic relationship of one to another. Words could not exist without an alphabet while an alphabet needs to form words to have a purpose.
When a type designer sets out to design a typeface, their first consideration should be to set its tone and style, possibly the biggest challenge in the entire field of visual creativity. A type designer needs to imagine all the possible scenarios and media that the typeface they are about to design might be applied to. This involves mixing different sizes and lower- and upper-case letters in the same design project.
The Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Glyphs
A good typeface should not be too overwhelming or complicated; it should be unique but flexible enough to crop with any media, functional and legible. The other essential that is often forgotten is that it should be able to stand the test of time. Typefaces can be used for many years; Helvetica or Neue Haas Grotesk, for instance, were developed in 1957 by Swiss typeface designer Max Miedinger with input from Eduard Hoffmann. Even now, they still look chic, and are fully functional when applied across a wide range of visual environments.
Designing a typeface is about much more than just making beautiful letters. There is a Chinese idiom that roughly translates as “each word is a gem”, meaning that a writer should really articulate every word he/she uses. Type designers should see each word they have created as a gem and hope that those who use them will treasure them as a gem also.
29Letters (29LT) | 205TF | Ale Paul/Sudtipos | Antipixel Type Studio | Black[Foundry] | Briefcase Type Foundry | Bri?gida Lourenc?o Guerreiro/KOBU Agency | BumBumType | BU?RO UFHO | Cahya Sofyan/Sundance Tipografia | CAST | Craig Black | Dan Barkle | Dinamo | Felix Braden/Floodfonts | Florian Karsten | Fontfabric Font Foundry | Grilli Type | Henrique Beier/Harbor Type | høly | Ilya Naumoff | Ion Lucin | Jan Charva?t/Font Reneagade | Je?re?mie Gauthier | jun.works/Junki Hong | Juri Zaech | Katerina Korolevtseva | Kometa Typefaces | Lewis McGuffie | Maciej Po?czy?ski/Lai?c: | Mark Fro?mberg | Mat Voyce | Matthew Woodcock/Glyph44 | Mikhail Sharanda | Minjoo Ham | Monotype Studio | Muir McNeil | NM Type | Pangram Pangram Foundry | Parachute Typefoundry | Paul Bokslag | Pizza Typefaces | Rosetta Type Foundry | Rostype Fonts | Ryan Bugden | Shrenik Ganatra | Studio Lindhorst-Emme | Studio Triple | That Smell | The Designers Foundry | Tikhon Reztcov/Shriftovik | TRU?F | TypeMates | TypeTogether | Underware | Velvetyne Type | Victor Pesotsky | Zetafonts.