Type Talk interview with Paul Rand and Mario Rampone


On Paul Rand site:
There are essentially two kinds of typography: The familiar kind for reading, and the other, simply for viewing, like a painting. Some say that readability is most important. There are really two important things about typography: readability and beauty; both are equally important. However, many readable typefaces are visually offensive. The design of a typeface, ugly or not, is only one aspect of the problem of readability. How a typeface is used is equally, if not more, important.

Jason Munn (The Small Stakes) Interview

Great interview with Jason Munn, where we can take a look at his studio and discover a little more about this talented designer, who’s work I truly admire. Love the the simplicity and the impact.

I discovered this interview via Dave from grain edit, who send me an email with links to rare type specimens/design books that he publishes on his blog. Here are some samples:


And talking about Typeradio:

TypeSHED11 is set to explore the notions and voices of typography – no matter how small or vocal, how grand or local – across the disciplines, in graphic design and advertising, photography, film, literature, architecture, music, the visual arts – and beam it back out to the rest of the world via Typeradio.

A full programme constructed from lectures, workshops, exhibitions and experimental installations will create the possibility for social and intellectual exchange with passionate typographers and designers from about the world – Europe, the Americas, Asia, Pacific, Australia and New Zealand.

Five exceptional guest speakers (to be announced) will punctuate three days of presentations, followed by two days of workshops – all under the one roof at Shed 11 – encircled by satellite events, forums and panels for discussion and debate, evening projections and entertainment. Refreshments each day, a picnic on the wharf, and a cocktail evening will offer the prospect to learn, mix and meet at New Zealand’s first ever TypeSHED11.

Download the Call for papers PDF here.

Ricardo Santos – Interview

Hello Ricardo!

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Well, about my academic profile, I studied at António Arroio and I made my graduation at IADE (Instituto de Artes Visuais, Design e Marketing) both in Lisbon. I started my carrier as graphic designer and illustrator, but since 1997 I had been designed my own typefaces. In this moment I’m running my own type foundry Vanarchiv and I give an workshop at IADE with Ruben Dias. Sometimes I make some lectures on design universities about my work around type design fields. My hobby is playing electric guitar on The Twilight Void project, since 1995.

2. When did you first got typography in your head and when did you start drawing fonts? Was it difficult to start?

I remember when I was younger I loved to drawing manually posters in an alternative and punk style on graphic application. When I worked at “Insectos”, the art director of the studio, Rogério Taveira, incentive me to create new typefaces for some graphic’s application. In that time it was difficult to start because my approach on type design and lettering, on that period, was very limited so it was complex to understand the balance between style and function. Most of the information and books about type design and typography in general I bought outside of my country. Now a day’s we have more people in Portugal working and investing time in this area so it is more easy to someone that is starting now to have more references and contacts with persons of the same area, like I had on past.

3. Designing a font isn’t an easy task. Tell us a little about your work process?

Designing a font isn’t an easy task at all. Now a day’s the process and the tools to produce the final work are more complex, but this digital and technological revolution also possibility fast production of large settings of type families styles in few time. Until now I tried to experiment different techniques to approach my ideas in to a specific project. The most of my ideas to new typefaces started on paper, it is faster to take a quickly and simple idea by drawing on paper that using the computer. I only need the main idea of the spirit and formal modulation of the basic letterforms to produce an alphabet. But the digital process takes almost the 95% of the working time, in front of the computer. I leave my process divided and organized in different steps.

1- Create and develop some ideas on paper or computer, about what kind of propose that typeface will be having, on style (serif, sans, decorative) and function (different optical font sizes).

2- Check and elaborate a work plan to see and understand how form the project will be expand, how many font styles and different versions will be created.

3- Drawing the basic letterforms and typographic components to a specific encoding language (Latin, Baltic, West of Europe or other) with Fontlab software.

4- Check and improve solutions to the different design problems (readability and legibility).

5- Decide what will be the final side bearings for each glyph and test this space improvement to see and understand how different letterforms combine each other.

6- Create and produce the final kerning pairs to the different font characters and languages.

7- Check and improve corrections on the final versions on different font sizes and applications to take an idea how that fonts will be working on the right environment that we designed for (paper, screen, others).

8- Generate the final font files to different platforms.

4. We noticed that you have explored several styles in your type designs. Is it a concern of yours? What’s next?

It’s true that I have been exploring and working in several styles but in fact I really have focused my attention last years to the development of font families. I have new projects to conclude which have been stopped almost one year because I’m finishing the second part of my Lisboa font family. On my Lisboa typeface family we can see different styles and approaches on the same skeleton, from sans to slab serif, from text to display, from italic to swash, from lowercase to small caps. All this variations create more flexibility and solutions for different kind of graphic necessities.
Other interesting point it’s how my typeface Lisboa Slab Italic explore two styles in the same way, this give a hybrid letterform combination. The italic main characters are directly related with roman font style (straight strokes). Also the open type font formats gives us other possibilities to have stylistic alternates characters with a calligraphic, warm and humanist treatment.

5. I know that you are only working in type design. Do you think it’s possible to “survive” only selling fonts? When did you come to this decision?

I think it is possible to survive only selling fonts, but it is only possible when we have large and good fonts to sale. I took this decision recently to working on full time on my font projects, but I think I will have a long and difficult battle to conquer. Today with internet it is possible to create alliances between font sales and font foundries to sale fonts to different country’s all over the world. This small industry depends of the ethical and economical respect of designers and different kind of users of the fonts. Today on internet we have available millions of different typefaces; so many people don’t know or don’t want to know to use legal fonts. For example if you use any photo or image from any commercial photo sellers, maybe you will have juridical and legal problems with that company’s. But on fonts market it is very difficult to control this kind of situations.

6. Have you had any historical influence when you started designing type? Any portuguese?

Yes of course, when I was student I admired the Bauhaus movement in Germany, the constructivism in Russia and others different graphic and visual styles. My typefaces Van Condensed and Focus are my contribution and my approach to the geometric and functionalism font style. Only after I started working and enter on typographic fields I had the first contact with the work of other Portuguese font designer, Mário Feliciano. He didn’t influence directly my work, but of course it was very stimulating for me to know that I had inside of my country a person with a very respectable work and experience. After some years later Feliciano was my professor and it was a very good time, learning and spending that time on his class with the other type maniacs.

7. How do you feel the type scene in Portugal?

I think we are crossing one of the most interesting periods on this activity in Portugal, the simple rebirth. During century’s we have few people working and producing new typefaces. About our typographic roots, we don’t have any particular tradition on our history, we always depended from other country’s (Germany, Italy, Spain), where the technical and conceptual knowledge were more strong and diffuse. We had some interesting exceptions and a few numbers of interesting Portuguese artists and punchcutters who worked and contributed on the past, this part of the history is few recognise and study (Joäo de Villeneuve, Joaquim José Ventura, Andrade de Figueiredo, José Lúcio da Costa and others). I’m mentioning all this people because it is a shame that our academic design programs don’t focus our history and progress. At these days we have some people like Mário Feliciano and Dino Santos which are recognisable on the international type scene. But there are other Portuguese type designers who also have a great and interesting work, like, Hugo d’Alte, Susana Carvalho, Pereira da Silva, Miguel Sousa, Ruben Dias, Jorge dos Reis and other persons which are starting to create their first projects. Slowly our small type community is growing up and bring to light this tradition, to the future generation of type and graphic designers.

My local and national interpretation of the Portuguese models it is visible on my Lisboa Dingbats Symbols project, where I explored some symbols which are visual references of Lisbon city. Some of this symbols have real interpretations of concrete references (Arrow, Christ Cross), the other part of the work are my own interpretation and extrapolation of that visual and graphic elements (Breaks, Arrows and finally the new version Ocean). I grow up with all these symbolic references, my grandfathers lived near of Jerónimos (Lisbon), which is very rich on monuments, so this project had a double meaning for me.

8. Who should we interview next? And what would be your question?

Any other portuguese font designer like Dino Santos, Hugo d’Alte, Susana Carvalho, Miguel Sousa …
I don’t have any special question to ask.
9. Finally, name three of your favourite fonts.

I like too many fonts to only choose three of them. I prefer to mention three type designers that I like for different ways: Gerard Unger from Netherlands, Erik Spiekermann from Germany and finally Jonathan Hoefler from USA.

Thank you!
Visit Vanarchiv for more details on Ricardo Santos fonts.
Lisboa Font on Fountain
Ricardo Santos fonts on MyFonts

Paula Scher: Moleskine notebook and interview at Monocle

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For over three decades Paula Scher has been at the forefront of graphic design. Iconic, smart and unabashedly populist, her images have entered into the American vernacular. Scher has been a principal in the New York office of the distinguished international design consultancy Pentagram since 1991.

Here is her notebook from Detour exhibition.

Also don´t miss her recent interview at Monocle.

The national identity of countries can shift radically and at a speed that leaves their inhabitants gasping. As the United States continues to suffer from low approval ratings all over the world, Paula Scher, one of the world’s leading graphic designers and a principal at Pentagram in New York, talks to Monocle editor-in-chief Tyler Brûlé about how the US needs to overhaul its image, brand promise, name and messaging.

Si Scott new work


Just amazing…:)
We have interviewed Si Scott on this blog approximately one year ago, and since then, he kept getting better and better.
He designed/illustrated & art directed this Resonate series,
for a new monthly music collective which is going to be released every month in a poster packaging format with a different animal each time.
Look at these “just arrived” images of some of his latest work.








Hot bunny for the cosh gallery exhibition – ‘that’s all folks – the bunny show’.




The Tank Theory one is for a high end T-shirt brand in New York (the design is made up out of naked women).

Flip it 180 and look at the chin it is a women on her back – and where the horns join the head also.

Si Scott Studio

Rui Abreu – Interview


Versão portuguesa disponível aqui.

Hello Rui!
1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a communication designer and I am from Oporto, where I graduated
at the Faculdade de belas Artes.
Currently, I am working as an multimedia designer at an advertising
agency in Lisbon.
This has been my main activity since short after I graduated, and it
started I Oporto.

2. When did you first got interested in typography and when did you
start drawing fonts? Was it difficult to start?

I was already in faculty. It was sort of an epiphany to me when I found
that there were different typefaces for different purposes or
meanings. In a time when I was still discovering what
graphic design was, it was important to my vision of design and
myself has a designer.
I think when you start to like letter-forms, you get seduced
by their beauty and history and start to take greater care
in composing with typography, and in the way you layout a written word,
with all the attention to detail, beauty and adequacy.
On top of that, I’ve always liked drawing and I like drawing letters.
Anyway, after my typographic epiphany, it was only a matter of time
until I plunged into to drawing my own letters and eventually building
a font in fontographer.
It was stimulant. I don’t think it was difficult to start. The hard
part came when I decided to make a type family. The work seemed


3. Tell us a bit about your work process when designing a font.

It depends on the font. But I usually try some ideas on paper before
starting on the computer.
The only time I drew the all font on paper, or at least the alfabetic
characters, I got fed up with it immediately after I started on the
computer, and I never finished it. But I think the end result is
better when everything is worked out on paper.
My first fonts, before Cifra and Forma, were made more or less with a
modular structure, and a few hand hand drafts were enough.
I usually work on the outlines in freehand or illustrator, copy them
to font lab and fix the curves and points there. finally, comes the
spacing and kerning.

4. We noticed that you have explored several styles in your type
designs. Is it a concern of yours? What´s next?

Yes, it’s true. My first font to be distributed was started after I
graduated and it was released in early 2006. So, these are still my
first fonts, and I guess I’m trying to do different things and learn
with it.
In this last year, I have been working on two new fonts, a monoline
slab serif and a didone style typeface, inspired on the tomb
inscriptions of the catacombs of Igreja de São Francisco (a church in
Oporto). It’s hard to say when they’ll be available, as they are more
ambitious projects comparing to my previous fonts, and they still need


5. You´re also a very talented designer, both print and web. Do you
plan to dedicate yourself only to type design in the future? Is it
possible to “survive” only selling fonts?

Yes. I would like to be more of a type designer. I enjoy very much
being a designer, but there are lots of mornings when I wish I could just
sit down and mold some beziers instead of going to work at my job.
But to me, it seems hard to “survive” only by selling fonts especially
if you don’t distribute them your self. but I dream one day I can just
do type (or try to), without bosses or dumb clients. And every once in
while embrace a nice and enjoyable design project. That is my idyllic

6. Do you feel that designing type is a very lonely act?

For me, it has been a lonely act because I work alone. But i don’t
think it should necessarily be that way. When you work alone,
sometimes you fall victim of boredom and discouragement, especially in
type design. it would be more motivating and less tiresome to work
with one or two more people, and i am not alluding to the case of type
designers that have employees to develop the all font from just a few
characters. A collaborative work should be nice for ideas, and labor
However, I do think there are always tasks that demand a few hours of
lonesome work and concentration, like for instance, shaping bezier


7. How do you feel the type scene in Portugal?

I think it is very nice. I like the work from the portuguese designers
and i think it is well seen internationally.
It would be nice though, if a portuguese taste was more felt. witch I
think is hard to achive if we remain captive to the same examples.
But, as the number a portuguese type designers rises, so does the chance
of finding portuguese signs in portuguese fonts, or at least a chance
of achiving more typographic decency and self consciousness.

8. Who should we interview next? And what would be your question?

The first question that pops to my mind is wether it’s possible to
discover any typographic idiosyncrasies in the portuguese historical
context (wether it’s architectural, or artistic, or whatever) or urban environment.
Maybe because I feel it is possible but I would welcome any ideas on that.
It’s a good question to any portuguese designer or studious in this
matters, but maybe, i would ask it to Ricardo Santos or Dino dos


9. Finally, name three of your favorite fonts.

Jenson, Minion and Luc de Berry
Human, elegant, beautiful.

Rui Abreu is a Portuguese type/graphic designer. He studied Graphic Design at FBAUP (Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto), where he graduated in 2003.

He has been working has a interactive media designer in different design/advertisement agencies along with is type design activity.

Rui Abreu Site.
Rui Abreu Fonts at T26 (Cifra, Forma, Salto Alto, Tirana).