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March 18, 2014

10:06 AM

Mike Spear
  • Mike Spear
Contributor Profile March 2014

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 design?


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 Capener's Scrabble Typography Edition complete with 15 new fonts, the 2nd edition is a typography nut's dream. Love it!


See Alex's work on Veer.  


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