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Candy script

An interview with Alejandro Paul

Candy scriptAlejandro is passionate about typography. While a masterful technician, he focuses on the art behind the form – on capturing the essence of an era or style. He’s won several awards for his designs and is co-founder of the Sudtipos project, the first Argentinean type foundry collective. Alejandro teaches graphic design and typography at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Veer:

You intended Candy Script to capture the energy and liveliness of Argentina. What is it about your country that inspires you?


Alejandro:

Argentina has a special beauty. We look like the first world, but we live like the third world. I think we have very good design, not just in graphic design, but in clothing design, in music, in a lot of expressions. Argentineans have a special sensibility.




Veer:

What inspired the name?


Alejandro:

This font for me looks like candy, maybe like a gum. It’s sweet.


Veer:

How long did it take you to create it?


Alejandro:

Maybe I was working one year with Candy, but it’s very hard to say because I was designing different things at the same time. OpenType fonts take me a lot of time to test and try. Candy needed a lot of alternates because if you see a font used in the same way all the time, it’s just a font. I like the idea that it could be more difficult to identify as a font.


Veer:

Candy has more than 600 characters, never mind all the kerning information. That seems like a huge amount of work.


Alejandro:

Candy is not so big. I am working on a new font that is 1,200 characters now. Fonts like Ministry Script or Affair are very complex in ligatures. With Candy Script, I tried to do something a little different. I wanted to give the designer lots of options. When you typeset a word, you feel like you like the a but you want a different a, so why not have five? Sometimes I do a tail for a g and want a longer tail, so I say, Okay, let’s do two or three versions.


Veer:

What is your favorite character in the face?


Alejandro:

I like very much the lowercase k. I like the w. But it’s not just the characters. When I design my fonts, I am thinking all the time about the whole word. The thing I like about Candy is how the words look when you mix up the characters.


Veer:

You’ve designed a lot of script faces. What attracts you to that style?


Alejandro:

I feel like there are never enough script fonts in the market. I don’t want to design a Helvetica – there are a lot of Helveticas. I want to try something that will go one step beyond. That is why every font I do tries to offer a new concept, maybe a small concept, but something.


Veer:

Does your background in packaging design influence your type design?


Alejandro:

I cannot forget I am a graphic designer and I am doing fonts for graphic designers, not type designers. In every design, I try to focus on a new idea, a hole that I see in the type scenario. I feel for the designer who needs to create his packaging in one week and has no time to have a lettering guy do the typesetting. I like to give him a resource. How many packages in the world use the word “light”? Hundreds? Millions?


Veer:

How do you feel about typography in graphic design today?


Alejandro:

I see fonts as tools for the designer to explore. I don’t like it when designers take the fonts already installed and just type and it’s done. With my fonts, they can play. They should play with the font – they should make some decisions in the use of the font.


Veer:

What is your favorite kind of candy?


Alejandro:

When I was at Disney World, I bought 10 boxes of Altoids. We don’t have them here. But I think Halls is my favorite. I like very strong mint. Extra strong.


See all Alejandro’s fonts


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