Type Designers to Watch
In the February issue of Print, we reached out to highly respected type-design aficionados and asked them which type designers we should all be watching. Each person featured has a unique take on their craft, and has had success with at least one typeface.
Here are two more type designers to follow in 2015.
Sunnyside, NY; www.bertonhasebe.com
“Berton brings a freshness to typeface design that is rarely seen. His inventive fonts are reshaping the ways in which typographers, and their audience, are accustomed to thinking about type.” —Ken Barber
“While studying graphic design, I liked the idea of using the typefaces I drew in my own work. I appreciated the time and effort that went into making a typeface, and realizing how much experience is necessary motivated me to continue practicing,” Berton Hasebe says. Taking that initiative, he attended the Type and Media master’s program at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. While there, he designed Alda, which started as an exploration of different weight characteristics of letterforms, comparing them to physical objects. He liked seeing how far he could push type design standards and create something that would still be relevant and useful. Although Hasebe still likes to push boundaries, he is a bit more practical in his approach.
“Context is helpful when designing a typeface. I’ve always had an easier time starting a design when I can imagine how it could be used. I also try to differentiate between what I appreciate as a type designer vs. graphic designer,” he notes. “If a typeface is unique in its concept or formal quality to a point where I couldn’t imagine an application for it, I’d find it interesting as a type designer; however, I would have no use for it as a graphic designer.”
He’s also keenly aware of his own aesthetic preferences when designing a typeface, and is cautious of developing stylistic habits. “Every typeface has a logic unique to its forms, and each has a different game that you play as you design it. I try to see how this aligns with my instincts, and sometimes try to go against my instincts to see if the result is more consistent to the logic of the typeface.”
Hasebe now has several type designs under his belt, most recently Druk, which was released by Commercial Type. “Each typeface I’ve designed has presented different challenges, and I like each for different reasons,” he says.
Grand Rapids, MI; www.monotype.com
“Terrance is a terrific young designer whose work ranges from delightfully fanciful calligraphic lettering to industrial-strength sans serif typefaces—and pretty much everything in-between.” —Allan Haley
“When I found out that not all type designers are dead, and that it was a contemporary practice, I wanted to learn more,” Terrance Weinzierl recalls. “I remember exploring Adobe Caslon Pro in depth, and learning about OpenType features. Then, in an advanced typography class, I was assigned to design a typeface. I was hooked.”
Straight out of college Weinzierl interned for Ascender Corporation doing what he calls, “a lot of odd, dirty font production tasks while learning how to draw and properly design type. It took a while—a few years—but I got better,” he says. “Ascender joined Monotype in late 2010, and I’ve been there since.”
Weinzierl’s first big break came with Pizza Press, the custom fonts he designed for Domino’s with Cripsin Porter + Bogusky. “I cried tears of joy when I found out it won a TDC award. It had been a goal for almost 10 years. Every overnight success usually has years of hard work behind it.”
The big payoff, he says, is seeing his fonts in use. “I’ve seen my work in video games, which is awesome. The Domino’s work on television spots and packaging has been exciting, but I’m most proud of seeing Joanna Sans on the Nook,” Weinzierl says. “I spent so long with it and have so much invested in it. I also feel like designing a serious text family is a right of passage for a type designer. It gives me credibility and confidence.”
Many thanks to the experts we consulted for this article:
Allan Haley, Monotype Imaging director of words & letters, www.monotype.com