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Fonster is the first real font I designed; it formed from … read more
Fonster is the first real font I designed; it formed from an university tutorial. After some tryouts with the Fontlab software, I got very motivated to create my own complex font that is based on classical Antiqua but has its own appearance. Somehow it has been the typical mind of a designer: "I want to create something new." Whether I succeeded in that has to be decided by somebody else, but I for myself am very proud of Fonster.
How did you develop the Font, was it more like planning a design or was it a process of creation at random?
At the very beginning I wanted to design some fractured font, actually a mixture of Antiqua and fractures. And when I started sketching the first small "a", I immediately knew how the font in general would look like. I was so caught by these corners and angles that I didn't necessarily imagined from scratch how the other letters would look like, but I felt the potential and went on. So in the end it was somehow planned but also very much a process of creation, also because Fonster turned out to be not that fractured as my original imagination was.
Did you experience some difficulties in the process of developing the font? And if so, how did you solve them?
Actually it became quite difficult right after the beginning for me to form the other letters in the style of that "a". As I couldn't and wouldn't just apply certain design elements, each character had to be drawn individually. Then after, when I had a couple more sketched, I tried to adjust and level them to each other. But after I typed a row of text, it looked like a kid's birthday. Nothing was in place and everything was dancing, a total chaos for my eyes. So I had to adjust a lot of angles or change them completely. Some characters needed a modification of the width and quite some had to be redrawn completely.
Later especially the digits created a lot of problems for me because numbers are not based on letters. Often I sketched figures which were beautiful but didn't fit at all to Fonster or I drew numbers that were completely in line with the design of Fonster but didn't work as digits. I had to take a look and analyze quite some other fonts before understanding how numbers could work well and fit to the letters. In the end I changed and softened quite some elements of the digits to have them working well within the font.
Another difficult thing was the light weight of the font. To make it that thin, I also had to soften some of the curves and edges, as well as to adjust all angles. I was quite concerned: Would the weight still look like a Fonster weight? But in the end it worked out well, I think.
Did other fonts or designs inspire you or influenced your design of Fonster?
At the very beginning, I wanted to look at many fractured fonts and some Antiqua's resembling ones to get an inspiration, but then I just went on blindly. I just sketched out the first letter which became the basis for the others to follow. Eventually I studied other fonts, but that was more in a way to understand my own font better and to advance in my creation.
Does Fonster have particular and focussed media or design fields it aims at to be applied to or does it have a more wider approach for application?
There hasn't been a special focus. I'd say Fonster is always good for a surprise. At the beginning I thought it will become just a great headline font because of the complexity. I then recognized that it turned out to be quite readable for running texts too. That makes Fonster very flexible for any application and I'm very curious to see how and what other designers will use it for. I personally still love it in headlines, because Fonster is strong, striking and has its unique touch, but the best is, it really doesn't lose these qualities when being used as text font.
After creating a single weight you went on to create a complete Fonster font family, which is quite a lot of work. How did it come to that decision?
First it was curiosity and then ambition gets it done. Certainly it was also the fact that Fonster was not perceived to be done as a serious font without some additional weights playing a role. But the thought of how Fonster looks in a light weight or in bold made me curious. I couldn't really imagine how to even lighten up the regular weight more; I had the feeling that it must break in pieces. But now the light weight gives Fonster another additional character, a quite female one.
How did you come up with the name of the font?
It actually was just some kidding. At one evening with friends, we watched a funny American TV coverage on things you shouldn't do at your first date. One point was: Don't address the other one with nicknames that end with "-ster". Thus, I got the idea to name my font Fonster. I think it fits well. There had been so many mistakes over in which I managed to get to the goal. On so many days I thought I would never make it to finish this font. It sometimes looked like that it just couldn't become a good font because of the elements I really wanted to bring into it. Now after I finished the font, I do think that sometimes one has to take the risk to make mistakes and then go on and beat the ratfink. I also think the name quite fits its edgy character and its curves that seem to be somehow rough, incomplete, and cut off, but of which emphasize a lot on its originality.
Your future plans/projects?
My next project is definitely to finish my bachelor this winter. But that will be in photography, in which I actually feel most comfortable with. Type design was an exciting experiment, and I wouldn't rule out the possibility to realize another font in the future. I guess I would never give up on type design completely, but after Fonster, I do need a little break. But there will surely be another font in the future, which I will set the challenge for myself again.