New type from Sawdust, Fontsmith, Benoît Bodhuin & more

Our latest monthly pick of great new type designs, projects and events includes a bespoke typeface for fashion blog Nasty Gal, type in motion at Liverpool’s FACT gallery, skeletal letterforms from Sawdust and a lovely animated film promoting Font Font’s Open Type Web Fonts.

Our latest monthly pick of great new type designs, projects and events includes a bespoke typeface for fashion blog Nasty Gal, type in motion at Liverpool’s FACT gallery, skeletal letterforms from Sawdust and a lovely animated film promoting Font Font’s Open Type Web Fonts.

Sawdust’s X Ray letters

Type design duo Sawdust’s previous projects include letterforms made out of pasta and some striking 3D type for the re-designed UK edition of Wired magazine.

For their latest project, a typographic illustration for Men’s Health magazine, Rob Gonzalez and Jonathan Quainton created a series of ‘X-Ray’ letters out of bones, arranged to spell out the word pain. The letters introduce a series of features on physical suffering and bones appear broken, fractured and held together by pins.


Mice, ants and the lazy dog

To promote the launch of type foundry Font Font‘s updated Web Fonts, which now include Open Type features, Berlin production company Stark Films has produced a lovely animated short bringing ligatures, swashes and character sets to life.

Animations feature mice, ants, laser cut and magnetic letters and are based on the pangram, The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog. It’s nicely done and an inventive way to promote Font Font’s new offerings.

Directors: Rob Blake and Zu Kalinowska
Producer: Brian Papish


Nasty Gal

NG Grotesque is a new bespoke typeface designed by Benjamin Critton and type foundry Colophon for Nasty Gal: a New York site covering fashion, beauty and culture.

In an article on Nasty Gal’s blog, Critton says the design was initially inspired by early to mid-20th century sans serifs and late 19th century Grotesks such as Akzidenz. “NG Grotesque posits itself as many things at once—simultaneously contemporary and historic, rigorous and gestural, objective and subjective, well-behaved and misbehaved,” he says.

“There is something very candid and unapologetic about the type, but it is also a bit sly or mischievous at times; it can be be quite bold or forthright in certain settings and also has these moments of almost sensitivity or delicacy in its drawing,” he adds. Read more about the process here.

Colgate Ready

Dental brand Colgate launched an updated identity last week, with a redrawn logo and chevron devised by The Partners in New York and a new typeface designed by Fontsmith.

Colgate Ready was initially designed as a Roman/Latin character set available in three weights: light, regular and bold, and Fontsmith has since created Cyrillic, Eastern European, Devanagari and Thai versions. The type will be used across all of Colgate’s communications and Fontsmith’s Jason Smith says it aims to establish “global typographic consistency” for the brand.


Side A

We’ve featured several of French designer Benoît Bodhuin’s experimental typefaces in CR – his latest, Side A, is a series of jagged, angular letterforms and numerals in three sizes. You can download a sample PDF or order single or multiple sizes at


Jessica Hische – Tilda

Images via

Type designer Jessica Hische has teamed up with Font Bureau for the commercial release of Tilda: a script design originally created for the opening sequence of Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom, about two 12-year-olds who run away together in the mid-1960s.

Hische says the typeface was inspired by the opening titles of Claude Chabrol’s 1969 film, La Femme Infidéle, Anderson’s quaint aesthetic and the idea of youthful innocence—you can read an interview with her about its design over n Art of the Title).

To promote its release, Hische and Font Bureau have created a colourful microsite with several illustrations of Tilda in use. The typeface comes in two sizes, optimised for small and large-scale uses, with alternative glyphs, ligatures and shortened finishing strokes for problematic character combinations.


Type Motion

Type Motion is a new show at Liverpool’s FACT Gallery featuring over 200 examples of type used alongside moving image, dating from the early days of cinema and TV ads to the present day.

Title sequences for Psycho, Se7en and Gone With the Wind are on show alongside experimental shorts, music promos for Muse and Kanye West, art by Marcel Duchamp and ads for Audi and Admiral Cigarettes. The display includes a mirrored ‘infinity space’ surrounding viewers with moving type, a cinema room, rows of large-scale projections and touch screens allowing users to create their own playlists of archived clips.

Images by Brian Slater, courtesy of FACT

The show was curated by Christine Stenzer and Soenke Zehle, who have been researching type in motion for 14 years. Stenzer published a book on typemotion films in 2010, and the pair have since established a mobile archive of hundreds of examples, which they present at lectures and symposiums worldwide.

“The purpose of conventional writing in film is to convey clear semantic information—effortless legibility is required, its integration into the film is linear and logical, distinct and in static form, and therefore has a rigid and disturbing effect. [But] in a great variety of films dating from the early pioneering days through to contemporary digital productions…we can find writing in film, [where] the effect is by no means rigid and disturbing, which adopts filmic potentials…and reaches way beyond what is commonly expected from well-known and standardised…presentations of writing in film, and from writing in general. These are the films we call Schrifftime (typemotion) films,” explain Stenzer and Zehle.


The exhibition was first displayed at art and media centre ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany last year and for the show at FACT, Stenzer and Zehle said it was vital to create an interactive and social viewing experience.

“The project is conceived as a a dynamic mobile archive,” explain Stenzer and Zehle. “When we arrived at FACT, they were in the midst of a discussion revolving around the futures of public engagement, and the role of a museum in a world in which most people think the space of culture is online…so [for Type Motion], we came up with an exhibition design that is as much about a wide range of user experiences as new social interfaces.”

“Aesthetic experience is often considered a highly singular event, but given the disappearance of the
cinema as collective experience of reference for visual media, we wanted to remind visitors of how much
fun it is to explore these works together, sharing responses rather than watch them on individual mobile
devices,” they add.

Images by Brian Slater, courtesy of FACT

Alongside the exhibition, FACT is hosting a series of workshops and events exploring projection mapping, virtual reality, digital coding and some of the techniques used to create work featured in Type Motion, as well as talks on the relationship between type and moving image. Artist Lauren Moffat will also be in residence for seven weeks, creating a new artwork for the Oculus headset. For opening times and visiting details, see


Hansje van Halem – Sketch Cahier

Images via

In 2013, Amsterdam-based graphic designer Hansje van Halem released The Sketchbook: a 400-page publication featuring over 10 years of type designs, pattern sketches and process drawings.

Her latest release, a 52-page foil bound spin-off, features highlights from Sketchbook alongside new work, including commissions, self-initiated pieces and unifinished drawings. The book includes a series of bizarre and wonderful letterforms, optical illusions and highly detailed textures, inspired by van Halem’s interest in “the tension between a systematic approach, legibility and irregularity.”

The book is released on November 30 and priced at 30 Euros. van Halem is also hosting a solo exhibition of sketches, Applied and Autonomous at Eindhoven’s Piet Hein Eek Gallery. For details of the show or to order a copy, see

What's the story?

The Storytelling issue, Oct/Nov 2017, is out now.
We invited writers to respond to our cover image
this month: read their stories inside.
PLUS: Tom Gauld, Oliver Jeffers, Giphy & S-Town

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