Meet Joancarles

January 2018

We hope you’ll enjoy this new series of interviews with our core team. Pooja Saxena was our first interview and now we turn to Joancarles Casasín, our font engineer.

 

Joancarles Casasín has been TypeTogether’s font surgeon since March of 2017. He fixes everything that seems unfixable and, to him, coding is as easy as pie. He may have been accidentally born in Barcelona but he is consciously an F.C. Barcelona fan who migrated to the inland countryside to escape the city invasion. Trained as a graphic designer, Joancarles draws letters, numbers, and punctuation marks from time to time and is a self-taught proto-programmer of small tools for type design. He checks email manually. Joancarles is also well known for his cooking skills; so good, in fact, that some people say he is better cooking than with a keyboard and mouse.


 

 

1 · Where is your office located?
Santa Coloma de Queralt, a village which is an hour away from everything — the city, the sea, the Pyrenees …

2 · In what countries or cities have you lived?
Barcelona and the village of Santa Coloma de Queralt.

3 · What kind of music do you listen, if you do, when working?
Lately I mostly listen to the radio (with people talking in the background, you don’t feel alone). When I listen to music I can listen really to *any* kind of music: From hardcore to classical, from jazz to ’60s. I’ve only skipped electronic music in the last years.

4 · Can you name three fonts you love (designed by others)?
Beowolf by LettError. It was released when I was studying and it was awesome. A random font that changed shapes when printing? I was impressed. It was a real digital font, not a digitized version of lettershapes. Kind of alive. I was lucky and the following year met Just van Rossum and Erik van Blokland during Barcelona ATypI in 1995. They were very kind to explain how Beowolf was made, the tools used, and what to learn about. I played a bit with Postscript and the printer and got interested in learning programming. At ATypI 1996 RoboFog (a font editor based on Fontographer 3.5 that allowed scripting) was announced as a future release, so I started learning Python while waiting for RoboFog. So if I can code a bit it is all thanks to Beowolf. It made my future life easier!

Zócalo by Cyrus Highsmith. I love (almost) every font he designs. I like Zócalo especially because it doesn’t look like an imitation of something else. It is a serif font with a few weights, a beautiful look on the page at small sizes… dark, full of personality. And those italics! I use it in my invoices, so I double-love to see it in use.

Input by David Jonathan Ross is also awesome. It’s a font designed with coding in mind, so it’s a font I see a lot everyday on my screen. It’s almost fully customizable. Because of my particular tastes, I’ve always had problems with some glyphs in coding fonts. I always preferred something different. I considered drawing my own, but then Input came out and I figured I couldn’t do better. I have to admit though that I’ve changed my coding font in some environments for Zeitung Mono Pro by Underware (sorry DJR!). I even use Zeitung in my email client app! I love it too. I’m waiting for the variable font and full system support for it. So I guess it’s a tie for the third place right now.

5 · Who is your everyday hero?
If you mean related to the type industry, I don’t have any heroes. I’m getting old (though I look younger ; ). I’m lucky to have some very talented friends in the industry and I respect some ‘monsters of type’ a lot, but I don’t think heroes draw letters. I understand when you’re young and full of energy you tend to focus your ideals in someone, moving close to a fanboy phenomenon. But I don’t like that and never did.

I think everyday heroes are anonymous, though I know some of them — people who are an example for everyday life. I’ve been three years visiting sheep shepherds in the spanish Pyrinees with my girlfriend. Those guys are real heroes. Simple but hard life, loving what they do without showing off. Fully committed to their everyday. Transparent, honest, sincere. After only two days with one of them, when we left he said, “I have very few things to share, but if you need anything, I’m here.” That’s a hero. Maybe Joaquín, the shepherd, is my everyday hero.

6 · What are your love/hate glyphs when designing?
Not really love/hate, but I like to draw the ‘g’ and I get bored with the time I have to spend on ampersands.

7 · What is your hobby when not designing fonts?
Designing fonts stopped being a hobby when the youth euphoria went down. I have a bunch of hobbies which I try to manage and combine through time, like cooking, cycling, and boardgames. I used to collect records but stopped some years ago.

8 · You have one opportunity to do something different in your life. What do you choose?
I’d travel by bike. But if you mean a job, then anything that happens outdoors in the forest or mountains and keep it safe from “civilization”.

9 · What is your favourite word?
I love any words used by my grandparents that aren’t common now, like “poca-solta”. Or any of Captain Haddock’s curses.

10 · What is the most amazing script you have worked with and why?
A Python script ;-). Because it does amazing things.
 


 

Sleeping in Panticosa, a small village in Huesca, northern Spain.


 

Taking a small break during the Trans–Euskal Herria, in the Basque Country.


 

Gazpacho, a typical summer Spanish dish made with tomatoes, bread, garlic, and olive oil.


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About Us

TypeTogether is an indie type foundry committed to excellence in type design with a focus on editorial use. Additionally, TypeTogether creates custom type design for corporate use. We invite you to browse our library of retail fonts or contact us to discuss custom type design projects.