Type Life: Issue #1.v2 - 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.
This updated edition also provides a glimpse into two upcoming Lab releases. KOPYME Asuzual is a brutalist typeface with monospaced characters of extra wide proportions. Its horizontal nature is offset by diagonals that shoot across the glyph space like laser beams. They crash through the baseline, extending the underlying grid by a fourth underground level, and adding to the KOPYME’s kinetic energy. SB Black Mamba VENOM is an offshoot of the SangBleu series. Its swash letterforms are melting and churning as if they were drawn under the influence of the intoxicating Aztec elixirs mentioned in “The King, His Court, The Explorer & The Gift”, the essay included in the SangBleu book.
Issue #1's guest contributor is Zoum (Thomas Louzoun aka Thomas Tears), 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, 2018
Second edition, 1500 copies
20 pages, four-color printing, loop staples binding, 9.5 × 12.6 inches