Contributor Profile March 2014
Expert type designer Alex Kaczun has over two decades of heavy
hitting typography know-how etched into his belt. He logged
in a substantial amount of time at the premier foundry
Linotype-Hell, where he was tasked with modernizing the Linotype
Library as well as managing the development of the Adobe
Post-Script Font Library. More recently he's designed
hundreds of book jacket layouts and designs and has established his
own foundry, Type Innovations. We caught up with Alex and put
him in the typographic hot seat:
- What trends in typography do you wish would disappear
and never come back?
I like the look of distressed type. However, some of the awful
grunge typography of the late 1990s was grossly overused and
hopefully will never make a come back again. I feel experimentation
is a good thing-but, typography without proper spacing will destroy
legibility. The aim of good typography should always be getting the
message across to the reader.
- Do you have a favorite, guilty-pleasure, go-to font you
always find yourself wanting to use?
All typography is interesting and has its applications and
functionality. In particular, I have an affinity for clean, crisp,
san-serif fonts. I feel they will never go out of style. My
favorite go-to typeface family is Frutiger. It's a classic and
always will be.
- How do you recognize the next trend in type
People are always looking for new approaches and creative ways
in making fonts. I really like and think that fonts composed of
several overlapping design elements, or style variants, offer an
interesting direction. There are some very good examples of this
coming from Daniel Hernández and Paula Nazal Selaive at Latinotype.
I'm currently working on a typeface series with similar added
"components"-integrating different elements to create alternate
styles and variants. Stay tuned.
- If the current you had to critique the novice you on
the first font you ever designed, how would that go?
The first font I designed was crafted technically very well, but
it lacked charm and charisma. I think that it's important to design
your new typeface with its own unique personality. It's okay to
draw inspiration from existing fonts but bring something of your
own to them and to the overall design process.
- One random tid-bit about yourself only your mom or best
friend would know:
I'm an avid collector of type memorabilia and obsessed with
anything typographic. I just bought the 2nd release of Andrew
Scrabble Typography Edition complete with 15 new
fonts, the 2nd edition is a typography nut's dream. Love it!
See Alex's work on