Introduction My work Editorial Design Typography within magazines Typography Layout Inspiration
– CAROLINE FABES – Typeface system in which each letter was replaced by a square with a different colour. Use of this code through a pedagogic text of the National library.
PATRICK FRY A zine featuring work that is conceptually based on the number of the issue it appears in
Foam Magazine -
Tell us how the two of you met, and how your collaboration works! Well, it all started several years ago at the Leipzig University qualyfing exams-a 5 day marathon of tests and aptitude screening. Tobi found himself billeted at a mad old ladys place, so i decided to rescue him and let him stay at my place instead. and we have been working- sometimes even living- together ever since. In a way, we have become something of an old couple of graphic design: Tobi generates plenty chaos and Christopher cleans up after him. We even used to swap computers, but just put a stop to that. Now, on a day to day basis, we both do everything and simply play ping pong with the flies, tossing them back and forth. However, besides having matching or complementary skills, it is far more important to be on the same page whn it comes to aesthetics and attitude.
JUNG + WENIG In a series of photo zines and books based on mostly found material, Berlin based duo infernale Jung und Wenig explore their gentle love/hate relationship with the iconic GR 3770 Risograph.
So, is there something like a perticular Jung und Wenig aesthetic or manifesto? How does this translate to your own and commissioned work? I think our, lets say, idiosycratic approach is both our strength and great dilema. On the one hand, it gives us and our work great focus and distraction, on the other, it narrows down our list of potencial clients. Both of us adore typography, which is probably down to our past at the Leipzig School of Design and working with people like Cyan, Gunter-Karl Bose, Markus DreBen et al. Add a generous dash of muddle-headedness and you are half way there! The results tend to be quiet bare and pared down-almost to the point of tedium. When it comes to our commissioned work, we mostly do artist monographs, gallery programmes, etc. While this is not likely to make us rich, it means working with people who are pretty much on the same wavelength and this gives us more leeway for playful experimentation. We love it when people know what they want and when they have something to say, because there is nothing worse than dressing up empty phrases and content. As long as people have something to say, that is a descent basis for experimentation and collaboration.
Speaking of experimentation-most of your submissions to this book are quite experimental. Where does it all come from? We simply design what feels right to us. The driving force? Probably a bit of bordem and the urge to make use of the freedom we have. Not to forget: we are obsessive collectors. Our computors are filled with countless libraries, sorted by themes. We usually start a search around a name or term and, like everybody else, get sidetracked by the wealth of further links. So we click our way through one perticular branch, all the way into display truly stunning. And while we have always collected the oddities, some of them actually look really interesting within the right graphic framework. After all, that is our job as graphic designers: to see the unseen and turn it into something worthwhile. Without this eye and curatorial aspect, any collection is just rubbish. And as it is pretty much impossibleto fill up your hardrive with bits of junk sized at 72kb, we never, ever delete anything. Actually, as a rule of thumb we would say: the higher a pictures resolution, the more boring and empty it will turn out to be. These high enders take themselves far too seriously! Well, so much for the source-what about the actual projects? We simply delve into our archieves and assemble a veritable wunderkammer of curiosities. And it usually starts with a huge amount of nuttieness-this seems to be a common thread. After all, this is what makes the internet such a great source: on the web, everyone is a star-and not only for the proverbial 15 minutes, but as long as the link works. so, we take our pick from these would-be stars and offer them their own stage-without the tiniest hint of mercy. Take the Singlestammtisch: we came across all these odd, self promotional portraits, cut them up, turned them into a slightly unsettling collage and then scourced the net for accompanying text. Thats it! But despite the overt silliness, it is all quite theoretical from Tower of Babel analogies to modern philosophy. Considering that we are not great at putting our thoughts and theories into words, we were lucky enough to find plenty of pictures to do it for us.
Indicentally, most of these projects thrive on the humour of their content rather than “proper” graphic design. Discounting our bush project, they are all rather primitive-image on the left, image on the right, there you go. So, while they are fairly conceptual, theyre not especially ambitious in terms of techneique. A lot of this is dwn to the reproduction technology we use, our Risograph GR 3770, which is fmous for imprecise printing, limited colours, and slightly sloppy results So, is it all about learning by doing? Well, I don’t think a single project has ever gone without a hitch! A bookbinder once mixed up the layers of our 640kb project, which-in the scheme of thingsdid not really spoil the work, but slashed the price in half, so that was a bit of a lucky accident. And when you look at our own, free projects-with their different paper types and photo print inserts-it is usually pure madness from a production point of view. If we handed those to a bookbinder, there is no way we could afford it. But when you treat it as a voluntary craft project in your own workshop and studio, it can actually be quite meditative.
How much time do you spend on the average project? Including printing and binding, it probably takes around 2 months from start to finish-all done by hand and in house. Sure, that is a fair amount of time for what is basically a self indulgence. Sometimes, we do it on the side whilst working on an official project, but it is definitely a bit of luxury. If you discount all the time and labour invested, producing an edition of 100 copies probably costs us around 800 euros in materials. Then again, we were lucky-we snagged our Risograph for a mere 700 euros plus 400 euros for an additional colour cartridge. Well, to be honest-we did not really pay for it all! A couple of years ago, someone paid us twice by mistake and we kept waiting for them to claim it back. When nothing happened for a year, we decided to invest the windfall in a â€œgood causeâ€?
JUNG + WENIG “WE ARE OBSESSIVE COLLECTORS OUR COMPUTERS ARE FILLED WITH COUNTLESS LIBRARIES, SORTED BY THEMES”
Why choose a particular typeface? Here are thirteen reasons. 1. Because it works. Some typefaces are just perfect for certain things. Some typefaces are better for headlines and text but there is always that small type at the bottom of letters which is what Franklin Gothic is for. Alot of typefaces are very overused like Frutiger on signage programs in hospitals and airports. 2. Because you like its history. Some companies have fonts that were created the same year the clients organisation was fonded. They say this gives the recommendation an aura of manifest destiny that is possitively irresistable. 3. Because you like its name. 4. Because of who designed it. Some designers make typefaces and people just stick to their styles. Also you may of researched the type designer and been very inspired by their life and so you use there type. 5. Because it was there. Some typefaces are already on your computer, they could be the default typeface, normally this is Minion pro. 6. Because they made you. 7. Because it reminds you of something. Whenever I want to make words look straightforward, conversational, and smart, I frequently consider Futura, upper and lower case. Not because Paul Renner was straightforward, conversational, and smart, although he might have been. No, itâ€™s because 45 years ago, Helmut Krone decided to use Futura in Doyle Dane Bernbachâ€™s advertising for Volkswagen, and they still use it today. One warning, however: what reminds you of something may remind someone else of something else. 8. Because itâ€™s beautiful.
9. Because it’s ugly. Sometimes its better to be talked about, even if it is bad, comic sans for instance is so overused and hated but in the right context can work well, even if it is ugly. 10. Because it’s boring. Tibor Kalman was fascinated with boring typefaces. “No, this one is too clever, this one is too interesting,” he kept saying when showed him the fonts I was proposing for his monograph. Anything but a boring typeface, he felt, got in the way of the ideas. 11. Because it’s special. In design as in fashion, nothing beats bespoke tailoring. 12. Because you believe in it. Sometimes I think that Massimo Vignelli may be using too many typefaces, not too few. A true fundamentalist requires a monotheistic worldview: one world, one typeface. The designers at Experimental Jetset have made the case for Helvetica. Alot of people dont like Helvetica but those who believe it really is a perfect typeface will still use it. 13. Because you can’t not.
Erik Spierkermann Interview
What makes a good typeface? What makes a good typeface is decided by the users, not the designer. Most good typefaces have been designed for one purpose, they do not come from a designerâ€™s whim. Bodoni designed all his faces for specific books, Times was designed for the newspaper, Frutiger for signage at Charles de Gaulle airport, Helvetica to appeal to certain graphic designers, Bell Gothic for the American telephone books, Gill for a shopfront, Century for a magazine, Meta for the German post office, There are certain laws of perception as well as cultural traditions which a typeface has to adhere to it has to look almost like all the others, but just be a little different You have designed a lot of typefaces. What is your favourite? ITC OfficinaITC Officina still looks great. While FF Meta was very unusual at the time (1985) and has a lot of imitators by now, Officina is my true classic. It was based on the idea that a typeface for correspondence should retain some of the quality of a typewriter face without the disadvantages of monospaced fonts. Basically, Officina is my redesign of Letter Gothic. On your blog, you publish a compilation of old type specimen? Do you sometimes regret the good old time of paper? What have we lost in the digital world? The touch, smell and feel. Too much precision can be cold. You say that design is not an art because a designer works for a customer, an artist for himself. Have you ever tried to design a typeface for your own pleasure, artistic research or whatever you want ? No. Except perhaps my early faces, Berliner Grotesk and LoType, which i made because the old metal faces were not available as photosetting fonts in the 70s. There was no marketing rational behind this, just my love of these faces that i used to have as metal letters in my print shop.
Don’t you think that something conceived with a utilitarian view in mind can be considered only for itself ? Exemple: let’s take a poster of Cassandre (there has been an exhibition in the French National Library). It is designed to fulfil a customer needs (let’s say to encourage people to take the boat to go to New York). But I can now put this poster on a wall of my room just… because I really like the object… I agree. We have the responsibility to add something aesthetic and beautiful once we have solved the immediate problem. And then, when the problem is forgotten, the beauty remains Finally, what is the ONE thing you think every student of typography should know? That you are designing not the black marks on the page, but the space in between.
Branding / Identity
Studio Laucke Siebein
http://kissmiklos.com/ Mindfreek Productions is a Hungarian start-up production office, which produces movies, TV ads and manages music bands. They asked me to make a classic but a little bit playful logotype, which shows the word-play between Mindfree and Mindfreak. Thank you for Balazs Makrai, Istvan Hanzel and Daniel Magyar giving scope for my abilities.