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Nautinger is there with newer slab serifs that turn from rather geometric examples from the first half of the 20th century to more humanist forms like Caecila by Peter Matthias Noordzij or theSans by Lucas de Groot. It combines the high legibility of glyph shapes that have flow with the sturdiness of low-contrast typefaces.
What was important for you—from the start—when it comes to designing the font typography?
The idea of shaping Nautinger was to create a contemporary, strong typeface with high legibility that would work with body text, as well as in headlines and display use.
Was the creation of Nautinger a purely constructed on the screen, or were there also freehand sketches that provided the basis for you?
In the beginning, I had a rather long and intense phase of sketching and constructing on paper because I wanted the character’s curves to come by hand. Afterwards, I did the scanning, rebuilding, and fine-tuning on screen.
Originally, Nautinger had just one weight. Can you tell us more about the further progress of developing its other weights?
I started the Nautinger project with a “regular” basic weight, but the intention of creating at least a true italic and an appropriate bold weight was there right from the start. I definitely underestimated the time factor, but I wanted to build up a family that covers most of the different requirements for typeface usability. After finishing the basic weights for regular and italic, I developed the according extreme weights as a source for interpolating the semi-extremes.
On your way to complete the family, did you discover any unexpected complications with the expansion?
Not really. It may be annoying, though, if something comes to your mind and you want to append additional glyphs or change some shapes or classes after you’ve already set up different weights. And while you want to keep all your weights fitting together. Those are corollaries that you always have to bear in mind when working on synchronous subareas.
Do you have any specific characteristics, which you would like to refer to?
The main feature of Nautinger are the bracketed serifs, which are slightly tapered. Also important are the closed counters of the lowercase letters that combine obtuse-angled run-ins with those that flow smoother from the stems. Furthermore, some cut spurs in the lowercase shapes give a modern touch.
What gives you inspiration when you start drawing a new typeface?
Mostly, there was an initial point when I sighted typefaces or letterings in daily life that hit a nerve that I wasn’t aware of at all.
Is there a certain kind of meaning, which connects the font’s name with the letters’ shape for you? What relationship does the name Nautinger have to the font?
The stem of the name is “naut-”: to associate with a maritime context, combined with the suffix “-inger,” which means something like “associated to.” The first thing that comes mind when I think of the nautical milieu is a kind of maritime style whose decoration level is limited by rough weather and fitness for use, yet striving for a certain beauty. I think of established and majestic objects that were built to last for ages and that defy winds and waves. The Nautinger typeface shall be a sturdy ship that comes with implicit aesthetics of taken-for-grantedness.
What about your future plans? Can we count on further typefaces?
After finishing the Nautinger project, I need some time to spend on my other faculties. But there are ideas and rudimentary sketches for a Twenties-influenced, but fat and edgy script typeface for display use, along with a display grotesque with Hispanic references.