Experimental Typography: 10 Years With Superfried
Superfried, the studio alias of designer Mark Richardson, hit a milestone this month. From humble beginnings in a London bedroom, Richardson has spent an entire decade now designing for clients like Fast Company, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Psychology Today and many more. To celebrate ten years of design, Richardson decided to create “something that represented the work over the past decade.” And what better way to do that than with experimental typography?
Meet Superfried’s SF10x10 project. “Unintentionally, typography has become significant within my designs with a distinct focus on numbers in my recent personal projects,” says Richardson in the project’s case study. “With this in mind, I decided to select my favourite 10 digits from my 10 strongest numeral sets – hence 10×10 … However, with a new birthday, it would be [remiss] to not create something new. So a completely fresh numeral set was also developed to complete the 10.”
The new set of numerals can be seen in row 5 on the grey poster.
SF10x10 is a personal project, which, of course, comes with a few benefits. “Personal work, unlike client, allows for complete freedom. This is great as I do not have to concern myself with ambiguity or the dreaded restriction of ‘legibility,'” says Richardson with a wink.
For him, personal projects don’t typically involve a goal outside of practicing. “They usually just emerge from an unused idea for a client that I liked and thought had potential for further development. However, the extra effort has been worthwhile for exposure and the work is often selected as a reference by new clients. Consequently, I would encourage all designers to conduct personal work when time permits.”
“It’s strange, as I have been designing for 17 years now, but I feel like I have barely started. I think this is because I still have a lot to learn and so many techniques to explore. Although that feeling of not being good enough can be frustrating, I suppose ultimately that is what drives me to continually improve.”
To see more of Superfried’s experimental typography projects and to learn more about the studio, visit www.superfried.com.