Amsterdam graphic designers, Novo Typo, speak to .Cent about their love of typography and its power of communication.
Why typography ?
Typography give us the opportunity to communicate in a very direct way. It’s a visual language, and we consider a typeface as a set of beautifully shaped abstract signs. We like when fellow designers use our typefaces, and believe that by sharing our work, we invite designers to play with our typefaces to create something inspiring, while embracing collaborating and sharing as much as possible.
What do you consider the point of typography?
We think that a typeface will be the most important part of a corporate identity and that stands as a key point. That is why we think that every company or organization need to use their own customized / bespoke typeface. A typeface can visualize your personal voice or language, and can show who you are and what you stand for. We believe that within a few years, typeface will completely take over the role of a logo or a colour scheme in a corporate identity, and we consider this a very good development.
How do you feel typography is best used to communicate information?
Although we like to communicate, we think that readability is often mixed with legibility. Sometimes typefaces have different purposes depending on the job at hand. If you ask us to design a typeface for you, we guarantee you that you’ll get something you’ve never seen before, and it would adhere perfectly to whatever brief you set. We never comprise design, and feel we can mesh the world of interesting and innovative typography and strongly communicate information if that is what the client wants.
At this time we design typographical patterns for a client in the fashion industry. We also work on several corporate identities and a packaging line for luxury home accessories with our own typefaces.
Can typography go between fine and bold and if so how and why? and how does this help in communication of messaging?
Your questions puts up another question. Why? This question we ask ourselves everyday. Why is a typeface fine, bold, italic, bold italic? Because we all agreed to do it like this? Because Microsoft or Adobe puts these typefaces it in your computer? Because your teacher told you to do it like this? We like to question these questions.
At this time we are experimenting with color in our typeface designs. Traditional type-designers think in black and white, we like to change this way of thinking. We like to add color in our type designs. The computer and new browser techniques makes it possible to make beautiful multi-colour fonts and useable for a wide audience. You can see these experiments here at Typopixo
Who has inspired your own creative journey over the years?
Our main source of inspiration has its roots in Russia, particularly in the 19th century. Aleksander Rodchenko, Vladimir Majakovski, Gustav Klucis, Russian Constructivists / futurists. We also like Horta, the Belgian Art-Noveau architect and Lucien De Roeck, designer of the logo, the 5 pointed star, for the World expo in Brussels in 1958. We admire the work of Jurriaan Schröfer, a Dutch typographer, designer Anthon Beeke and some of the work of designers Jonathan Banbrook and Peter Saville.
Concerning our design approach, the Do-It-Yourself punk movement from late seventies/ early eighties had a huge impact on our way of working and thinking as designers.