News: Tagged as FontFont Designer
On Friday, 21st September, over 80 graphic designers from in and around Berlin met at the Mota Italic Gallery for the opening of Julia Sysmäläinen’s exhibition, ‘Mister K and Franz Kafka’. Charting the tale of the ‘Real Travels of Mister K’, the exhibition focuses on how Franz Kafka’s handwriting developed and evolved over time, as well as on Sysmäläinen’s process behind reincarnating it in digital form as the FF Mister K typeface.
The exhibition is both two-dimensional and three-dimensional. Featured work includes a number of recent books whose covers or jackets were designed with FF Mister K, as well as jewellery, prints, objects and typographic installations. Sysmäläinen produced a small booklet to accompany the exhibition, ‘Too long to tweet’ which features texts from many of Berlin’s most active type designers (and Twitter users).
Julia Sysmäläinen (left) during the opening
The exhibition was originally scheduled to run through the end of October, but, due to its popularity, has been extended until 9th November. The Mota Italic Gallery is located in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district, and is open Mondays to Saturdays from noon to 6 pm.permalink
Charting the tale of the “Real Travels of Mister K”, the exhibition includes a focus on how Franz Kafka’s handwriting developed and evolved over time, and the process by which it was reincarnated in digital form as the FF Mister K typeface.
The featured work includes a collection of books – like the Mendelsund series by Schocken and the new Too Long to Tweet – as well as prints, objects and typographic installations that reflect the energetic, vibrant, humorous and above all eccentric nature of Kafka and FF Mister K.
If you are in Berlin between September 17 and October 27, be sure to check out the exhibition, or attend the official opening party with Sysmäläinen and the Mota Italic crew on Friday 21 September.
About Mister K
Franz Kafka’s manuscripts had such a profound impact on Julia Sysmäläinen that she undertook the difficult task of capturing his handwriting in a digital typeface. FF Mister K combines Kafka’s unusually strong calligraphic characteristics with a hefty array of OpenType features, delivering a powerful script font. First released in 2008, FF Mister K was successively extended by an additional typeface, FF Mister K Informal, in 2011. The design has already received several awards, including a Certificate of Excellence in Type Design from the TDC in 2012. Sysmäläinen is a Finnish graphic and type designer, based in Berlin.permalink
The stories and faces behind some of our FontFont Designers
Have you got a tremendous typeface design up your sleeve? At FontFont, we are driven by our love for type and typography and are always on the lookout for new typographical talent. When we started back in 1990, our mission was to create ‘fonts for designers by designers’. Since then, designers from across the world have contributed to our library. Twice a year, the TypeBoard, a committee of internal and external experts come together to review submissions.
Our submission policy continues to be as open as ever; we look for original designs and judge all submissions based on their aesthetic, technical and practical merits. If accepted your design will join the ranks of typographical triumphs such as FF Meta, FF Scala, FF DIN, FF Ernestine, and FF Tisa.
From the well-known to the newly discovered, our designers come from all walks of life. Here are the stories and experiences of three different FontFont designers, who have recently released their typefaces through us.
A lengthy love affair | FF Spinoza
Max Phillips, a New York–based art director, illustrator, toy designer, and novelist (of the award winning ‘Fade to Blonde’), released his first ever typeface as a FontFont. His first beautiful typeface FF Spinoza was developed over a period (on and off) of eleven years. An elegant workhorse, FF Spinoza is a classic text family with individual character to hold its own in display sizes.
We asked Max what it was like to become a FontFont Designer:
‘Basically, I was asked to join a club whose members include Kris Sowersby, Tobias Frere-Jones, Akira Kobayashi, Jean-François Porchez, LeTeRror, Hannes von Döhren, Martin Majoor, Nick Shinn, Jeremy Tankard… the list goes on. And, of course, Neville Brody and Erik Spiekermann. It was the greatest honor of my professional life.’
When describing what it was like to work with FontFont, he said,
‘FontFont took tremendous pains with the work. When Andreas Frohloff returned his first edits on Spinoza, I was a bit dazed. He’d altered almost every glyph in every font. In some cases he'd clearly improved things. In some cases I felt that he was correcting real problems, but that I wanted to correct them in my own way. Andreas was there to help. And that's the way things went. FontFont put a lot of work into Spinoza, but they left the final design decisions to me, even though I was a first-timer and they're the world's foremost independent foundry.’
Joining forces | FF Basic Gothic
In contrast to Max, Hannes von Döhren has been designing typefaces for a number of years and set up his own foundry HVD Fonts in 2008. He became well known for his highly successful releases such as Brandon Grotesque, Brevia, Livory, ITC Chino, and Reklame Script.
In 2010, working with Livius Dietzel, he joined forces with FontFont to release FF Basic Gothic.
‘On the one hand type design is all about creativity, optical decisions – the visual, but on the other hand there is a lot of engineering behind a font. Therein, I believe, lies the strength of FontFont. There are many type designers who would prefer to concentrate on the visual. FontFont takes over the visual and technical quality testing of font production and with that guarantees an high level of quality for their fonts.’
Fulfilling a FontFont dream | FF Ernestine
Nina Stössinger was also one of our designers who released her first ever commercial typeface design, FF Ernestine, through us. Having studied Multimedia Design and later Type Design, Nina set up her studio in Basel in 2008. Ernestine was born from the search for a versatile monoline text typeface; it's warm with a serious overtone, feminine with an underlying rigid assurance, above all it is charmingly sturdy. She first drew the Roman as a study project at the postgraduate Type Design programme in Zurich, and the Italic in dialogue with Hrant Papazian’s Armenian design.
When asked about what it was like working with FontFont she said:
‘To be honest, I have for a long time dreamed of one day not only designing a typeface, but releasing it through FontFont! Ambitious dreams – and I’m still amazed that they have actually come true. I am both proud and humbled to be part of this great library which in my perception sits right at the crossroads of relevance and innovation, utmost professionalism and agile freshness, trustworthiness and openness to experiment.’
Now it’s your turn …
With the next TypeBoard happening on May 21, you still have time to submit your designs.permalink
FontFont represents some of the most talented and interesting type designers in the world. And for most of the year, that’s where they are: scattered all over the globe. In celebration of FontShop’s 20th Anniversary, FSI’s Ivo Gabrowitsch took the opportunity of a rare gathering this spring to talk with seven FontFont designers and get their take on their personal history in type design and what’s coming next. These conversations, peppered with insight about the creative process, are a rare look at the faces behind the typefaces.
The first of three FontCasts – published as part of FontShop’s FontCast series – from the day features Michael Abbink from New York City (FF Kievit, FF Milo) and Erik van Blokland from The Hague (FF Trixie, FF Erikrighthand, FF Beowolf).read more