From potato prints to a 5 weight family in 7 days

February 14th, 2013

Potato printsTwo weeks ago we welcomed Wiebke Strotmann, a sixteen year old student from the Kreisgymnasium St Ursula in Haselünne, to the team for an internship with the Type Department. Under the guidance of our highly experienced Chief Font Technician, Inka, Wiebke spent seven days with us learning about all things FontFont with a focus specifically on type design. 

Wiebke came well prepared having spent some time creating potato stamps, researching, reading and learning about the anatomy of type. 

Wiebke

On her first day she came to the Berlin office to meet the team, immerse herself in the Type Department meetings and find out all about the company. Using the FF DIN potato prints as a starting point, she and Inka set about creating her own font. She spent a number of days scanning, copying and tracing the potato prints and then with the help of Inka’s eagle eye and some FontLab magic, the result became Erlkönig – a 5 weight family with a random feature (with four alternate versions of each glyph).

She also spent time practicing calligraphy, experimenting with collages and creating specimens. At only 16 years old and having never worked with Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign before, we were amazed at how quickly she picked everything up.

The name Erlkönig derives from the german name for a prototype car but also is the name of a famous Goethe poem. Although Wiebke actually thought it was the name of a potato variety and so this became a leitmotiv throughout the PDF specimen that she created.

 

Erlkönig