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My na… read more
My name is Julian Hansen. I was born in Aarhus, the second-largest city in Denmark, but the lack of relevant design education nearby led me to move to Copenhagen. I graduated from the Danish School of Media as a graphic designer this summer, and I'm now wondering: ”What's next?”
Tell us a bit about the Zimmer font, if you would.
Zimmer is a legible, simple sans-serif font. It is in the mould of classical neo-grotesque typefaces, but relatively narrow and with inspiration from early grotesque, as well as humanist typefaces. The result is a typeface that works equally well for text as it does for display.
What were your intentions and ideas behind designing the font?
When I started out drawing the letterforms for Zimmer, it was a result of the fact that I couldn't find the font that I was looking for. I thought that there was a major gap between humanistic, grotesque, and neo-grotesque typefaces. As I began exploring this gap, I found out that a lot of the typefaces I was using were very much based on an idea on what these sorts of typefaces should look like. I wanted to make a typeface that fitted in the space in-between.
How would you characterize your style?
I see myself, first and foremost, as a graphic designer with a focus on typography. I strongly believe that every piece of graphic design should reflect the subject that it's communicating. But I think we can tell these stories in the details of the design, instead of, for example, making beer-influenced typeface designs for breweries. I made the poster So You Need A Typeface, and I think that the poster somehow relays my opinion about typefaces: that we can try to be objective about our typeface choices, but, in the end, it also has a lot to do with idiosyncracies, taste, and fashion. I was once teasingly called ”Julian 'Sans-Serif' Hansen,” so I guess you could say I like sans-serif typefaces.
Why did you choose a German name for the font?
Well, it's a bit of a long story… When I was designing Zimmer, I found out that it was inspired by a lot of typography that was connected to transportation—whether it was on highway signs or on trains or airplanes. At the same time, I was reading Paul Auster's novel The Book of Illusions, and the protagonist in the story—named David Zimmer—was incredibly afraid of flying. So, I thought that it might be a fitting name for a font inspired by transportation typography. At the same time, Zimmer is a bit squarish in its forms, and the word "Zimmer" in German means "room," so I thought it all made sense. It's a bit far-fetched, I know!
What inspires you?
I think inspiration is almost everywhere, but I am mostly inspired by stories that I hear. It can be everything from quotes by a philosopher to a conversation overheard on the street. Its these stories I try to visualize in my work. I think I'm very word-based when it comes to inspiration.
Do you have a working routine, and what are your ideal conditions for you to work in?
I've found out that my best work is done in the morning and that my best ideas usually come late in the evening. Usually, I find myself under the best working conditions listening to ambient music and drinking good coffee.
Tell us a bit about your future plans and projects?
I just graduated, so at the moment I'm considering what to do. I think I would like to find a job based in graphic design, but with a strong focus on typography. On top of that, I have a couple of ideas for new typefaces that I would like to explore.