Our latest pick of new type includes new releases from The Northern Block, Monotype, OGJ Type Design and Dalton Maag, a custom font for New York magazine, some striking type by Akatre in fashion magazine Mother and a new Laurence King book edited by A2’s Scott Williams and Henrik Kubel.
Monotype – Kairos
Kairos is a new typeface from Monotype, based on 19th century ‘Grecians’ (octagonal wood and metal type slab serifs, often with beveled or shadowed lettering). It was designed by Terrance Weinzeirl, who has been working on prototypes for octagonal typefaces since 2012.
“I had done a number of prototypes and a couple of custom typefaces in a similar style, and really wanted to finish a retail release,” says Weinzeirl. He decided to complete Kairos after receiving requests from three separate clients for octagonal designs.
The typeface comes in 51 weights from thin to black with solid, shadow and highlight versions. Weinzierl says the typeface is his take on an octagonal slab, rather than a faithful interpretation of any existing design. It is predominantly designed for display use, lighter weights can be used for body text or smaller screens.
“In the 19th century, with those wood types, it was always a much smaller family – they would only have all caps, or maybe just black or a bold condensed,” he adds. “Kairos takes that concept, but makes it more contemporary, with a broader palette of weights that’s more suited to how we use fonts today.
“The very thin weights were quite difficult to create, I think because it gets to be very delicate,” he explains. “If something is off by one point or unit, it can render differently and you’ll get a little dark spot, whereas the heavier weights are much more forgiving,” he adds.
To promote its release, Monotype has produced some copper specimen plates and is currently selling the full family for $99. The company says the typeface will lend “an industrial, sporty feel to a wide range of applications, from branding and packaging to … consumer goods, sports communications, video games, websites and apps.”
Akatre – Mother magazine Vol. IV
Founded by photographer and creative director Kate Friend in 2012, Mother is an independent art and fashion magazine showcasing designers from Japan and around the world. Available in Dover Street Market, Colette Paris, Opening Ceremony and Tate Modern, it features some excellent photography and an aesthetic Friend describes as “minimal, advanced, clean and expensive.”
Paris creative studio Akatre designed the latest issue, Vol. IV, which explores the theme of liberation and includes features on transgender subcultures in Japan, pro-democracy youth movements in Hong Kong and a look at emerging design talent in Tokyo.
Akatre’s Tempête typeface is used throughout to striking effect, with glitchy letterforms scattered across feature openers and photographic spreads and juxtaposed with more angular text to create an offbeat look that works brilliantly with the magazine’s unusual imagery.
More on the issue at mother-magazine.com
Early last year, Dazed & Confused dropped the ‘confused’ from its title and moved from a monthly to a bi-monthly print cycle. It also introduced a simplified look devised by art director Jenny Campbell-Colquhoun and then creative director Chris Simmonds.
The magazine now has a new creative director Robbie Spencer (previously its fashion editor) and has been redesigned again by art director Jamie Andrew Reid. The new issue comes with a choice of four covers, featuring actress Amandla Stenberg, hip hop artist Young Thug and models Lineisy Montero and Molly Bair.
Reid has introduced a new, wider masthead and each cover features the phrase ‘The New Agenda’, set in bold type alongside each cover star’s name. Inside, photographic spreads make great use of stretched and condensed type and underlining, and new paper stocks have also been introduced, with glossy pages for fashion shoots and matte for editorial.
Reid says the design was inspired by Patti Smith posters and vintage magazines. The use of condensed and stretched letterforms seems to be increasingly popular in fashion – we also liked visual moodboard site Space Matters’ use of Commercial Type’s Druk Family – and the new type gives photographic spreads a bold new look.
The Autumn 2015 issue is out now and available on newsstands and at dazeddigital.com
Laurence King – New Perspectives in Typography
New Perspectives in Typography is a new book from Laurence King, showcasing typefaces, custom fonts and lettering by over 100 designers from 20 countries.
Edited by A2’s Scott Williams and Henrik Kubel, it contains a look at typographic identity systems, bespoke typefaces, hand made lettering and sculptural signage, from Experimental Jetset’s Responsive W for the Whitney, to book covers by Peter Mendelsund and David Pearson, type for AnOther magazine, Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman, and typographic illustrations by Marian Bantjes made from flowers, thread and pasta.
The book also includes a handful of essays: Rick Poynor examines typographic voice and the complexities of discussing type; Emily King looks at artists’ use of type, from Martin Creed to Bruce Nauman, while Monika Parrinder and Colin Davies reflect on typography’s future. The pair also consider the impact of the changing way we consume information on type design, the democratisation of type, and a greater public awareness of typography as a tool for self-expression. Paul Shaw’s essay identifies key designers and foundries from throughout the 20th century, from William Morris to Jan Tschischold, Alexey Brodovitch and Neville Brody.
Kubel and Williams say the book is not a definitive survey of contemporary type, or “an attempt to identify a new movement, latest trends in graphic design or present a manifesto” but instead presents “a selection of work we feel demonstrates an intelligent, thoughtful and, above all, inspirational use of typography.” It’s a useful resource, and a diverse collection of inspiring work from around the world.
New Perspectives in Typography is published by Laurence King next month and costs £27.95.
Commercial Type – The New Yorker Fashion Issue
Commercial Type designer Greg Gazdowicz has drawn a lovely all-caps titling typeface for New York magazine’s 2015 fall fashion issue, which was created in just a week. “[New York] creative director Tom Alberty and art director Chris Cristiano were looking for a type treatment that would be evocative of storybook lettering, rather than a typical high contrast fashion typeface,” says Commercial. “Working from lettering samples from the early 20th century and early Art Nouveau period display types from Germany, Greg came up with Anker in record time: one week from the first conversation to the magazine going to press.”
OGJ Type Design – Bill Display & Bill Corporate
Stamp by Max Bill, 1974 and Konkrete Kunst poster, both used by Jeschke for reference to create Bill Display
5 Franken, 1987, Le Corbusier, by Max Bill
Berlin-based type designer Oliver Jeschke has recently been working on creating digital versions of typefaces created by Max Bill, the late architect, sculptor and graphic designer.
His first release, Bill Display is a grecize font family, which Bill designed during 1940 and 1987 for placards and stamps and eventually, the Le Corbusier Swiss mint. Jeschke worked with specialist Hans Rudolf Bosshard to create the new release, which he describes as “a personal but respectful max bill-style revival”, with the permission of the Max Bill Georges Vantongerloo Foundation in Switzerland.
Jeschke has also created a follow up release, Bill Corporate (pictured below) and both designs are available at myfonts.com
Erik Spiekermann & Ralph Du Carrois – FF Real
Image: Norman Posselt, via spiekermann.com
FF Real is a new typeface designed by Erik Spiekermann and Ralph du Carrois, released under FontFont this month. Spiekermann originally drew one text and one headline weight for his biography, Hello I Am Erik, in 2014, and the typeface has since been extended to include text and headline versions with 13 weights each.
“The design of FF Real is rooted in early static grotesques from the turn of the century. Several German type foundries – among them the Berlin-based foundries Theinhardt and H. Berthold AG – released such designs between 1898 and 1908,” says FontFont. “The semi-bold weight of a poster-size typeface that was lighter than most of the according semi-bolds in metal type at the time, gave the impetus to FF Real’s regular weight. In the words of Spiekermann, the historical example is “the real, non-fake version, as it were, the royal sans serif face“, thus giving his new typeface the name “Real”.
“FF Real is a convincing re-interpretation of the German grotesque style, but with much more warmth and improved legibility. With a hint towards the warmer American grotesques, Spiekermann added those typical Anglo-American features such as a three-story ‘g’ and an ‘8’ with a more defined loop. To better distinguish characters in small text sizes, FF Real Text comes in old style figures, ‘f’ and ‘t’ are wider, the capital ‘I’ is equipped with serifs, as is the lowercase ‘l’. What’s more, i-dots and all punctuation are round.”
You can read an interview with the pair about the making of the typeface on FontShop’s website. The typeface has also been released as wood type and Spiekermann’s letterpress shop P98a has produced a limited edition poster to promote its release using wood type made from the regular weight.
The Northern Block – Stolzl
Stolzl Display is a new font family from The Northern Block, designed for use in headlines, titles and subtitles. Named after Gunta Stölzl, the Bauhaus’s only female Master, it comes with six weights, 480 characters and a cyrillic version. “Based on the combination of contrasting shapes, the harmony of form and rhythm is fundamental to the design,” says The Northern Block. “Inspired by Bauhaus, Stolzl represents, not just the significant influence of this “crucible of modernism”, but … its original idealism, commitment to creativity and experiment driven philosophy.”
Download a sample of buy it at thenorthernblock.co.uk
Dalton Maag – Objektiv
We end with a new release from Dalton Maag, designed by Bruno Mello. The typeface comes in three variants: Mk1 for display use, Mk2 for slightly smaller use and Mk3, which the foundry says “delivers maximum legibility in the micro-typographic environment of body copy, where the human simply needs to be able to read the message”. It also comes with a selection of alternative softer characters.
“What at first glance appears to have been drawn by a compass has in fact been adjusted to account for the way that we perceive the world. The proportions of the characters have not been dictated by geometry and mathematics, but by their harmony with one another, and by what our eyes judge to be right,” says the foundry.
Download a free trial or buy it at daltonmaag.com