Why typography? What awakened your interest in the art of type?
It is hard to explain, all I can say that I was always, since high school, sketching letters, doing signs, lettering … and I was amazed when I saw beautiful lettering, nice sign, beautiful book.
Who are your typographical paragons?
Most influence on me had Dutch type scene or better to say The Hague scene, especially designer and teacher Gerrit Noordzij. That’s why I went to postgraduate course at Royal Academy in Den Haag, Type and Media department.
Which book about typography have you recently read? Which one would you recommend?
I just finished reading new book about Magazine type from Laura Messeguer, and I can always recommend books from Edward Johnston, Robert Bringhurst, Emil Ruder, Bram de Does, Gerrit Noordzij, Fred Smeijers, Oliver Simon, Oscar Ogg and many, many more.
If you could be a typeface, which typeface would you like to be?
Oh, strange question, I’m not sure if I would want to be a typeface, maybe a “dot”.
When you begin to design a typeface: do you grasp nib or mouse?
I never start to design on computer screen, I always do sketches, then more precise sketches with broad nib pen, brush or pointed pen. And then I go to computer tracing, drawing.
What technical tools do you work with? Which scanner, which printer, which computer, which operating system, which programs do you use?
I use Macintosh computers, Heibelberg scanner, I have few printers A4 , A3 and A2. And I use software such as Superpolator, Prepolator, Font Lab, Font Master, UFO Stretch, MetricsMachine, OT Master, Feature Proof, …
Are you a pack rat or a purist? Hoarding on your hard drive 2.456.891 fonts or is Garamond, Bodoni, Frutiger and Futura more than enough?
I don’t have many fonts installed on my computer, but I also do not believe in this Massimo Vignelli theory that we only need few typefaces as designers.
If your font folder only takes ten typefaces, which would that be?
It would be much more than ten, there is amazing typefaces around.
Comic Sans and Arial are banished in typographical circles. Which typeface may in no case be installed on your computer?
I don’t have problems with this, every typeface is there for a reason.
Which letter is your favorite? With which letter do you start when you design a typeface?
I don’t have a favorite letter. When designing, I’m more concentrated on contrast, proportion, color …, but it is usually a lowercase letter first.
What gave you the name of your first typeface?
Do you have Plans for a next typeface?
I always have many sketches which are waiting to be digitalized, and probably made into font. But always, time is the biggest problem.
Have you ever chisel a letter in stone?
Yes, we had Stone carving class in The Hague. I’m still doing it from time to time and love it.
Thank you for the interview!
[Thomas Kunz, 2010-10-30]