Sunday, 25 October 2009

6. Hoefler & Frere-Jones

& Frere-Jones have commissioned hundreds of typefaces for various clients of which include Rolling Stone magazine (The Proteus Project), Nike, Disney, etc you can see their fonts on billboards, computer screens and even US Census forms (Interstate) and the presidential campaign for the now elected President Obama (Gotham).

(The Proteus Project)

When Hoefler & Frere-Jones work as a team one designer will sketch the fonts whilst the other adds a fresh perspective and acts as an editor and converse. A Hoefler typeface can be described as having very few right angles, very few straight lines.
Hoefler & Frere-Jones have been described as revivalists in a field surrounded by radicals. They create classic and timeless typefaces that still manage to capture an essence of a pop culture. They are craftsmen and they believe designing fonts is an art form that combines writing, history, language, history, as well as paying respects and homage to the homemade fonts created by signage painters of a time long forgotten. They have such an admiration for these designs of yesteryear that they rummage through the skips and rubbish piles of antique stores collecting old pamphlets, signage, etc.

A recent project of theirs involved drawing inspiration from and taking pictures of old handmade signage that still existed in Manhattan. From these images they discovered some fonts had almost no lower case, some were missing certain letters, and after months of designing, conversing and editing they were able to complete the typeface – the sans-serif typeface Gotham.

Hoefler’s typeface Knockout was recently used for the New York bid to host the 2012 Olympic games. I found it interesting to compare the strikingly different and very controversial London 2012 logo.

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