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Type Life: Issue #1 - Special Lab


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A publication packed to the brim with letterforms! A very special newsprint edition from Swiss Typefaces is a celebration of style and a wellspring of inspiration. Images abound, with photography, illustration, lettering, and exclusive previews of upcoming typefaces working together to create a visually exciting experience. An underlying theme is the confrontation of opposites: systematic typography is interspersed with footloose lettering, accurate vector shapes are shown side by side with drippy comic blackletter and highbrow clashes with subculture when an icon of the Swiss International Style gets remixed with graffiti. The digital is contrasted with the analog, the local with the cosmopolitan, the abstract with the personal. On a formal level, all of this is represented by the combination of uncoated newsprint and glamorous spot colors. The minimal but nevertheless unique color palette features Pantone neon pink and yellow along with silver and black as a defining element of the publication’s identity.

The inaugural issue focuses on ST's Lab, the Research & Development department where the foundry's ideas for future fonts are explored. Two of the most recent additions to the Lab are showcased here: BRRR (a playful wide Grotesk loaded with disruptive details, initially created for a poster series for Swiss artist Simon Paccaud) and KRSNA (a custom version of NewParis Skyline that abandons the convention of a continuous baseline, introducing a three-story space where letters can sit at the top, center or bottom, with the remaining space filled with bars and spikes). Type Life reveals how BRRR and KRSNA came into being by depicting preliminary sketches, evolutionary steps, and photos of experiments made development. Reproductions of the very first applications show the fonts in context.

Issue #1's guest contributor is Zoum (Thomas Louzoun), French art director and illustrator. His whimsical drawings and handmade letterings are original compositions for this issue. Other featured work includes Ludmila Bredikhina's Style Games work from her time at ECAL and a spread of font samples which showcases just-launched and soon-to-be-launched font samples.

Designed, edited, and art directed by Swiss Typefaces

Published by Swiss Typefaces, 2017

Printed in a limited edition of 1,000 copies

20 pages, four-color printing, loop staples binding, 9.5 × 12.6 inches