Firstly, how do you apply the knowledge you gained at the KABK in your work?
At Type&Media/KABK I learned what was needed to properly execute my ideas. More specifically, I learned (among other things) the basics of programming in Python, and learned how to use Python and RoboFab* to automate certain aspects of the design of typefaces and production of fonts.
With Python and RoboFab I have been able to build my own simple tools, and using these tools, to design my own typefaces and turn them into fonts.
Having control over the whole process gives me a lot of freedom as a designer. It allows me to explore new ideas and territories, and execute projects as I imagine them – without compromising to what existing tools can do.
Secondly, could you specify your philosophy on your own style, especially the Elementar font system?
My work is heavily influenced by my modernist design education in Brazil (Esdi) and in Germany (HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd). Most of my type-design work is targeted at screen media rather than print. I try to work with the unique qualities of digital media: embracing the pixel grid, and exploring colors, computation, interaction etc.
The Elementar system is an attempt to bring more typographic flexibility to screens. It is an alternative approach to type-design for screens: instead of working with scaleable outline fonts, it employs several individual size-specific fonts along parametric variation axes. (I have also developed tools and interfaces to deal with this type of fonts.) This approach is not unlike manual punchcutting, only with pixels.
After the release of Elementar by Typotheque in 2011, I have continued to explore these ideas with other grid-based typeface families: Modular, QuanticaBitmap, Imperial, Gothica, Segments and Geometrica, as well as in articles and presentations.
- Modern Screen Typography
- Hipertipo FontNavigator
- Notes about designing screen fonts
- The primacy of the pixel
- hTools2 @ RoboThon 2012
Written as an email exchange in August 2012.