Let’s focus on your work as a type designer, an hyper-specialized field that expresses a high level of complexity. What were the ideas and experiences that have influenced you in your work?
I am fascinated by the ability of a character to express the feeling, the spirit of the times. I love Dutch typography, but also the charm of the artistic calligraphy of my father. Typography is a complex synthetic system of values. In type design it is proven that you improve over the years. I hope it will happen with me too.
What about Choco, the typeface featured in SPD show Out Now in 2012? What has been your starting point for this design?
I started from handwritten signs and vernacular signs of small businesses. Choco has a calligraphic nature educated by typographic design. With Out Now it has found its optimal scale.
In the rich tradition of written typefaces are there any models that have inspired you? How have you used the possibilities of Open Type?
I am attracted by exceptions, by little inaccuracies and outdated styles of past times, today these imperfections can be easily spotted thanks to technology. I use opentype for ligatures and alternative glyphs. The richness of a character is in the variety of proposals offered.
Also in your branding projects, there is often a typographic approach. Does it occur to you to propose a custom typeface for a corporate communication work?
I started to draw characters to best express the values of the brands that I designed for. The design of a logotype proceeds towards the customization of a font; the design of a typeface leans towards the consistency of a system.
Designing a font is increasingly a matter of programming: how to deal with this part of the job, in a small-scale environment as you do?
It is an important aspect. If in the past the matter to be carved was lead or wood, today it is informatics data. Engineering is what makes a font work. And if a character does not work, it is its end. In fact considering the tiny reality of Hellotype the help of technical experts is always welcomed.