THE TYPETOGETHER STORY: CHAPTER 2023
Join us as we look back at what we’ve been able to accomplish in 2023 with you and our other partners.
Join us as we look back at what we’ve been able to accomplish in 2023 with you and our other partners.
This past year gave us many opportunities across several categories: supporting education, striking typeface releases, insightful editorials, unique custom fonts for corporate clients, and of course our first-of-its-kind Primarium project. Ready for this year’s wrap-up? We’re hitting the ground running! And along the way we’ll give a few hints about what’s to come.
In April we once again added another script to everyone’s favorite and most flexible superfamily when we made Adelle Sans Korean, partnering with our longtime colleagues at Sandoll. And in June we published Nina Faulhaber’s Aeroplan, the serif equivalent of optical poetry and a right proper modern replacement for Baskerville-style fonts.
Finally, just last month — December 2023 — we popped the airlock on a two-year project to create a casual yet technologically advanced typeface named Playpen Sans. Complete with a character shuffler, matching emojis in all eight weights, and enough personality to make the little things shine, this completely free family is where digital excellence meets casual handwriting. Wanna know the best thing about this typeface? We’re not done expanding its possibilities.
All our new fonts include the variable font format, a much smaller and more powerful file format than OTFs. They can be as little as 10% of the normal OpenType files, which is a major win for developers, OEMs, and those concerned about load times, responsive speed, and rendering. Fast is good, and TypeTogether is committed to the variable font format’s opportunities.
One of the largest projects we’ve ever completed, and one in which we are immensely proud, is Primarium.info, our groundbreaking research into how children are taught handwriting in Latin-based regions around the world. It has taken two years to get to this point and we will continue researching and posting results for the foreseeable future.
Complete with in-depth references, images, and new text, the Primarium results have also informed the creation of Playpen Sans and our upcoming Playwrite typefaces (along with another powerful and helpful surprise that will be released in time).
Playpen Sans is our casual family for everyday use (with high-octane tech under the hood). Playwrite is best described as a superfamily that has within it almost every character from the main Latin-based scripts in the world: joined, semi-joined, looped, unlooped, and regional variations like the ‘f, p, q’, and more. It is a mammoth project and we are excited for its 2024 release.
For years our free, invitation-only microsite, TypeTogether Premier, has focused on serving agencies and other creative organisations. We are currently woking on updating our main website, including Premier, with greater functionality to serve you better: the possibility to easily download test fonts with reduced character sets, and continuing relationships with branding agencies, publishers, and graphic design studios.
What’s included in your free Premier membership? You can download all our retail fonts for testing purposes, get access to beta fonts during their creation, and free typographic services. If you think you or your company may benefit from this service, email us at [email protected] and we’ll get right back to you.
As always, we continued to publish educational articles, interviews, and other pieces of interest on our blog. Here are some highlights from 2023.
Interviews & articles
We are as committed as always to creating things that help, that educate, and that give a peek into who we are, so we went a bit crazy with our long-form content this year. Check out the interviews with Chorong Kim, Nina Faulhaber, Patrycja Walczak, our new video interviews with Azza Alameddine, our goodbye to Roxane, our annual meeting summary, and the Beirut student project.
Each year we are fortunate to win multiple international awards. And while it’s not about the awards themselves, these encouraging recognitions are just another thumbs-up to our incredible team to show that we’re on the right track and doing something worthwhile.
The almost-dozen wins this year are another nod in honor of the years and energy spent on these projects: Rezak received the TDC Certificate of Excellence and won Silver at ED-awards; Aneto received the TDC Certificate of Excellence, Bronze at ED-awards, and Clap Platinum; Atlante received the TDC Certificate of Excellence and Gold at ED-awards; Aeroplan was awarded by Communication Arts; and Noort Bengali was shortlisted in the Dezeen Awards. Cecilia’s motion graphics were awarded with the Clap Platinum, and the collaborative project of converting our Catalpa family into wood type was also honoured with the Clap Platinum.
To mark the release of our Bree Arabic type family, our talented graphic designer Rabab Charafeddine designed a new poster with wave-like movement and neon colours.
The Argentinian designer César Sesio designed a poster for our Adelle Mono typeface using overprinting and anagrams. He said, “A monospace font works well with the unexpected results of anagrams. And, as an exercise, an anagram is a clear example of what rethinking a problem involves.” Would you like these posters? They are yours for free when you cover only the shipping and handling.
As a company designing typefaces mostly for editorial work, we have been longtime supporters of magazines, newspapers, books, and myriad forms of digital information. With some of our team in attendance, this year we again sponsored the MagCulture conference in London, Typographics in New York, and more events like these.
We promised to give away as much as we could in the form of education and our increase in articles continues to tell this story on its own. We made good on this promise in 2023, and we’ll continue this commitment in 2024.
This year’s team transitions have been happy and sad. We of course bid our beloved Roxane Gataud adieu as she moved forward to a new and wonderful type design role, and welcomed onto the team the talented and fun Tom Grace, who had released several projects with us previously and worked with Gerard Unger in the past. Our first short-term intern was Khải Nguyễn, followed by Sondos Abdellatif, each contributing their specialised knowledge and assistance to our team.
Honouring Gerard Unger
Several weeks ago we again commemorated the life and memory of our dear friend, Gerard Unger. We learned so much during our privileged time with him; strangely enough, most of the great things we gain from others is not so much lessons taught as it is a vision caught. In them we feel the passion for their craft; their care for others; their prioritisation of the creative process; and the merit in doing something with excellence. This and much more we saw in Gerard and it reinforced our own commitments personally and in business.
Gerard Unger Scholarship
We are now headed into the tenth year of our Gerard Unger Scholarship, an immersive and supportive mentorship programme for promising young type designers. Almost every winner has been awarded in some way for their completed design, and we hope to keep that tradition going far into the future.
This year, thanks to the hard work of Elena and Pooja, we overhauled the submission and judging process, and gave the scholarship a new look.
We released Nina Faulhaber’s Aeroplan this past summer, and Nina is currently continuing her typography journey in the Master’s programme at KABK in The Netherlands. In early 2024 Emma Marichal’s Ploquine will be released, followed in the future by its impressive and fun display styles.
2023 winner Patrycja Walczak’s Poltik began as a display-only family and is currently under massive expansion to include a text family — and it’s looking great! We’re keeping it under wraps for now, so watch next year for an update.
Our merit winners from 2023 deserve another shout-out, don’t they? The six promising typeface projects that received TypeTogether’s merit award were (alphabetically): Entro by Seryozha Rasskazov; Familia by János Hunor Vári; Onida by Richard McDonald; Paraguaria by Ramiro Nuñez; Rhetta by Nika Langosz; and Rubina by Lora Shtirkova.
As we celebrate the Gerard Unger Scholarship’s tenth year, be watching closely because we will have big news and even bigger plans, led by Linda and Josh. We want to shine a supportive spotlight on our main winners and every merit winner from the past, inviting you to get to know them a bit and build something of excellence and insight all together. (And if you were one of the past Merit winners and are just hearing this, check your junk folder for a letter we sent in late November; we want you involved!)
Meetings and travels
Veronika and José traveled to Tarragona and Barcelona in March, and were then joined by Joanca and Azza. Veronika and José also traveled to Zurich and Paris in May to touch base with several studios, make in-person presentations, and be part of the first post-Covid ATypI conference.
Our annual meeting this year was filled with old friends and new partners, great food and lots of laughter, walks through olive groves and the Italian countryside, and lots of learning and many hours of hard work together.
Blogs & press
One of the most anticipated design releases of 2024 is “Identita”, a major documentary film series about Czech graphic design. As one of the top Czech designers in history, Veronika was interviewed for the series. Other friends and colleagues such as Filip Blazek, Tomas Brousil, Petra Doceklová, Linda Kudrnovská, and Radek Sidun have either been interviewed or played a major part in its making, and we can’t wait to celebrate when it comes out and announce the video streaming dates.
On the other side of the world, Cecilia was interviewed for this year’s Indigo Awards, and we had an article published in Graffica magazine.
Workshops & talks
Veronika was judge of Diploma projects for the Master’s course in Type Design at Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), and she has invited Toshi Omagari to co-chair Granshan with her as it expands in depth and reach.
José presented a lecture at the National University of Rosario, the event celebrated Graphic Designer’s day in Argentina.
José, Veronika, and Sandro have been busy introducing Primarium to the world over the past few months, such as the Herb Lubalin online talk, and at DiaTipo in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Azza led another Arabic–Latin matchmaking workshop at Tipo-g design school in Barcelona, and gave a career talk to the MATD students.
Elena talked about all things graphics at the MATD course at the University of Reading, and with Rabab’s help they offered feedback on the students’ type specimens.
Yorlmar offered a talk at TDC’s Multilingüe: Writing And Typography For Native Languages from Latin America.
Liu Zhao was again one of the judges for the D&AD Awards in the typography category this year. Besides having permanent and short exhibitions in several locations around China, she was elected board member of ATypI and also serves as a member of the Design Special Committee of the Beijing Youth Art Development Promotion Association.
It was quite a productive year for Pooja. She led two workshops this year (an extended two-month workshop at 3-Sided Coin, and an introduction to Devanagari typography, font pairing, multilingual type, and more) and continues producing her newsletter (I Spy with my Typographic Eye). She led more lettering walks, has given several talks this year (at Typographics, TypeLab Asia, and the Bangalore International Centre), and she was a guest lecturer at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. Pooja was also awarded a B•LORE Grant to make a short film about public lettering in Bangalore.
Josh partnered with Readsearch to edit their research and CHI conference presentation, and gave a presentation to the TypeTogether team on writing typeface descriptions.
And finally, we want to congratulate Cecilia for being awarded her Doctorate from the University of Buenos Aires this year. A major achievement!
We want to thank you again for joining us on yet another whirlwind year of productivity and fun. Together we create positive impact through written language. Thanks for using what we’ve made so well, for all the feedback and input as we press forward with new releases, and for being as excited about expanding into additional scripts and styles and research as we are.
And we are already working hard to make sure next year tops this one.
All our best,
The TypeTogether team