Matteo Bologna: Pushing the Limits of Typography

As a young, horny man living in his mother’s house in Milan, Italy, Matteo Bologna taught himself how to design type while on the phone with an annoying girlfriend. While she talked and complained and cried for hours on end, he toyed with the seductive curves and shapes of letterforms on his computer, and eventually broke up with the girl. He found typography to be much sexier. Besides, her pasta would never be as good as his mama’s.

Young Matteo’s love of typography only intensified when he started receiving The Type Director’s Club (TCD) annuals filled with designs by Louise Fili, Paula Scher, Seymour Chwast, and Charles S. Anderson. He copied and cajoled their work, and knew the only chance he had to really break into design was to move to New York City, which he did in 1994. Shortly thereafter, he formed Mucca and he landed a big break, designing the brand for a new French brasserie, Balthazar, which quickly became famous for its delectable breads, pastries, and pommes frites. The design community also took notice of Matteo for his exquisite handling of the restaurant’s identity. The rest, as they say, is history.

Here we talk to Matteo about the power of type in design and the ways in which he pushes it. Read the interview here.

When Past Meets Present the Future is Brighter

Dream the Impossible Dream: Craig Welsh Restores a Masterpiece

A Nearly Forgotten Font, Euclid, Is Resurrected Through a
Nearly Lost Art Form: Wood Type.

Though Alvin Lustig left this earth more than 60 years ago, his modern design influence has left an indelible mark in design history. It’s hard to believe that he died so young, at age 40—when most of us are hitting our career stride—considering his output and influence in mid-century modern design. Thankfully, his widow, Elaine Lustig Cohen, carried on his legacy and has ensured his works would never be forgotten.

In 2010, the book Born Modern, written by Steven Heller and Lustig-Cohen, was published. It encompasses Lustig’s design accomplishments and details his theories on design. It also talked about his influences in typography, which sparked an idea for designer Craig Welsh of Go Welsh, based in Lancaster, Pa. He wanted to revive a font originally designed by Lustig in 1930, called Euclid, and turn it into a woodtype font family. Welsh, who holds degrees in architecture and graphic design, is an avid student of design history, typography, and poster design. His work has been published on both sides of the Atlantic and he has won recognition at every major design show and publication. Read the rest here.

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9 Type Designers to Watch

When looking to create a “top” list of anything, it’s always best to ask the experts, which is precisely what we did here concerning type designers. Of course, typography, like everything else in art and design, is highly subjective. People like what they like. Period. But interestingly, when we reached out to highly respected type design aficionados Gail Anderson, Ken Barber, Roger Black, Tim Brown, Tobias Frere-Jones, Allan Haley, Cyrus Highsmith, Jason Santa Maria and Christian Schwartz and asked them who they thought should be interviewed for this article, there was a surprising amount of consensus among the suggestions.

Don’t expect to see the popular kids here. Sure, some may be familiar and some have been at it awhile, but others are just hitting their stride. Each designer featured has a unique take on their craft, and has had success with at least one typeface. Several of these creatives started as graphic designers and then pursued typography out of necessity, making type for themselves and clients. No matter the paths they followed, one thing is certain: The designers below are all reaching a creative apex. Read the rest here.

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Brandon typeface by Hannes von Döhren.