Talk to some people about typography and their little faces glaze over, a mixture of bemused boredom and slight fear playing across their emotions. But they don’t know what we know and it’s up to us converts to explain how fonts can be fascinating. A good place to point them to would be the new Novo Typo typefoundry just launched by Amsterdam graphic design studio Atelier van Wageningen.
The Dutch have not only opened up their archives with a host of interesting typefaces both self0initiated and designed for specific projects, it also provides a useful bit of backstory as to how and why these fonts came into being. Sometimes it’s relatively straightforward – inspiration comes from eastern European toilet doors (Sjablony) or " an homage to the anonymous typefaces we know from old printers before the offset era" (Plakaty). But elsewhere it’s somewhat more complex, as with the extraordinary range of fonts inspired by individual members of the family of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space (indeed an interest in cosmology runs throughout).
This is definitely worth checking out.