For Berlin-based graphic and type designer Johannes Schnatmann, the internet is his main inspiration. Working alongside commercial projects, the designer has created his own publication Tempus Futurum which explores the idea of a utopian design process. Featuring over 20 contributions from designers, including It’s Nice That favourites Pouya Ahmadi and Jonathan Castro, each creative dissects the personal concept of Utopia following the publication’s premise that utopian design is impossible. Speaking to It’s Nice That Johannes explains how, “there should be no limit or point of restraint in a design process. Design is limitless”. For instance, “the design of a chair continues to prove that it is limitless. It’s design is still explored and reinvented. It is refused a point of utopia”.
Tempus Futurum has a futuristic and contemporary design centred around the viewer’s experience. “The chosen font is an open source grotesk, which coincides with the utopian concepts as the type is open and accessible”, says Johannes. “Along with the modified descenders, the partly deconstructed graphic textures are a symbol for the unpredictable future” of utopian design, as well as offering quirky characteristics to the predominantly functional layout design.
This explorative design process is also visible through Johannes’ experimental and progressive type designs, for instance his original design for typeface Cito Mono. “Cito” means fast in Latin and mono refers to the distinctive monotone horizontal contrast of the typeface. Inspired by vintage Swiss architecture magazines, Johannes designed the typeface purposely for headlines and titles. Additionally, Johannes explains, “I am constantly questioning myself throughout the whole creative process right until the very end… The quote that defines my creative process comes from a talk I went to where Umberto Eco gave advice to young authors in 2016; ‘you’re 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration’”, says Johannes. “Inspiration is a nice impulse for an upcoming idea, but after the research about the topic starts. The foundation of my work comes from a huge collection of different materials and sources”.
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