Character Building

Character Building


The Monotype ISTD Student brief from 2014, to design a type specimen for the future, using a minimum of two typefaces from 6 possible options.


Rather than concentrate on digital application of type, I focussed on developing my own content, to encourage designers to retain the specimen and to think about the voice of typeface.

One of the clear choices as a designer when selecting a typeface, is translating the appropriate voice. Interpretations are often open, but the type designer usually has a level of intent when designing the forms.

One way of showing the diversity of a font family is through the range of “voices” associated with it. These can be expressed by experimenting with different weights and sizes. To explore this and to find an opportunity to show the full spectrum, the content had to showcase these differences.

I therefore had to develop a scenario in which, if the typefaces were anthropomorphised, they would be able to express their characteristics / personality traits.

This lead me to investigate psychoanalytical sessions, speaking with a psychotherapist about how they were conducted. I decided to develop a short play based upon the relationship between Agmena and Trade Gothic Next, with Agmena as the young patient and Trade Gothic as an old-fashioned psychotherapist.

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