Why typography? What awakened your interest in the art of type?
While studing graphic design I had a very passionate typography teacher who managed to pass his passion for the subject to me. I studied a semester at Lahti Polytechnic, Finland, where I developed a typeface as my graduation project. There I was also introduced to the MA in Type Design at the University of Reading, which I did two years later.
Who are your typographical paragons?
There are many … Francesco Griffo, Claude Garamond, Jan Van Krimpen …, some contemporary masters like Matthew Carter, Bram de Does and Gerard Unger … I also like the work of quite a few young designers who are doing very interesting stuff. I admire the productiveness and quality of Veronika Burian’s work, on her own as well as together with José Scaglione.
Which book about typography have you recently read? Which one would you recommend?
I just finished reading “Typography in Detail” by Jost Hochuli. I would recommend Gerard Unger’s “While you are reading” and “The elements of typographic style” by Robert Bringhurst, particularly to those who are starting to get interested in typography.
If you could be a typeface, which typeface would you like to be?
Uff, I never thought of that, it is a very difficult question, next one …
When you begin to design a typeface: do you grasp nib or mouse?
The first thing I do is a few rough sketches using a pencil.
What technical tools do you work with? Which scanner, which printer, which computer, which operating system, which programs do you use?
Epson perfection v 350 photo scanner, an Epson laser printer, MacBook Pro, MacOs x, Adobe cs 3 and Fontlab Studio 5.
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 couldn’t survive using just Garamond, Bodoni, Frutiger and Futura! I think each project you work on has different needs which cannot be fullfiled with the same few typefaces.
If your font folder only takes ten typefaces, which would that be?
Another difficult question! Mmm Garamond Pro, Arno Pro, Minion Pro, Swift, Bauer Bodoni, Trinité, Frutiger, Maiola, Bree and Auto. They are not listed in order of preference.
Comic Sans and Arial are banished in typographical circles. Which typeface may in no case be installed on your computer?
Lots … including those which name start by apple…
Which letter is your favorite? With which letter do you start when you design a typeface?
My favourite letter is the lowercase g and the amparsand character. I usually start by drawing the lowercase a and n.
What gave you the name of your first typeface?
Techarí, my first custom typeface design, was named after the product it was designed for, the third disc of the Spanish band Ojos de Brujo. They mix hip-hop and flamenco with lots of other musical styles, Techarí was the name of the disc they used the typeface in, it means free in Caló, the language of the Spanish gipsy people.
Do you have Plans for a next typeface?
Yes, although I am still working on two more weights of Edita, so the plans for the next design are just in my mind and in a page of my notebook.
Have you ever chisel a letter in stone?
No, I had the opportunity of trying it at Reading but some of my classmates there tried it first and it was a complete disaster so I wasn’t brave enough to try it!
Thank you for the interview!
[Thomas Kunz, 2013-04-06]