Full interview for Computer Arts Collection Vol. 2 Part 2 Typography Issue, featuring my work as part of a typographic trend report curated by Franklin Till creative consultancy.
When designing pictorial typefaces, what kind of concessions do you make to ensure legibility?
For me, legibility is usually a secondary consideration. I act as freely as the project allows me to. Maná was intended to illustrate song lyrics and work with a live visual, so it had to be readable whilst retaining a strong visual impact.
How much do you research ancient symbols and pictograms when developing a font like Maná?
Some research must be done, but I prefer drawing on my own inspiration and background rather than just reference material. For Maná I started with an interpretation of symbols for elements like the Sun, water and earth, found in ancient symbolism, and developed them into a character set.
How do you establish stylistic unity when creating this kind of typeface?
I always begin with the basic forms found in letters like ‘A’, ‘O’, ‘V’ and ‘N’, and then translate them across the rest of the
typeface. I establish some rules and patterns that repeat, like the double cross bars, the waves, or the concentric circles resembling an eye which appear in Maná.
What’s your take on the wider trend for more abstract, geometric type?
The forms currently being developed come partly from the freedom that is possible today in the design of a typeface. The
use of geometry is a pattern repeated throughout the history of typography, and is closely linked to its development.