Regulars / Nicer Tuesdays

Dinamo’s Fabian Harb on exploring new technology with typography

Our final speaker at April’s Nicer Tuesdays was Fabian Harb, one half of Swiss design duo Dinamo. Fabian stressed the importance of acknowledging the many people who make Dinamo’s practice possible, from those working with the permanent team in Berlin and Basel to those who completed internships with them. He then took us on a tour of the team’s current studio spaces in Barcel and Berlin, and gave us an overview of how the design agency was founded.

Fabian talked the audience through Dinamo’s development of a typeface that marked the turning point at which the pair established themselves as a company, made up of the interconnected elements “Dinamo Projects”, “Dinamo Standards”, “Dinamo Hardware” and “Type Releases”. All this comes with an emphasis, Fabian said, on “trying to explore new technology”.

He then gave us a closer look at one of Dinamo’s signature typefaces, Pareto – a “cowboy style typeface”, as Fabian called it – a Bauhaus-influenced type with variations on serif to make it adaptable for use in different projects. Dinamo have also delved into variable fonts that allow for subtle gradations when it comes to weight, mono and italicisation.

Finally, Fabian showed us how Dinamo’s own type design tool, Dinamo Darkroom, developed as a way of playing with these gradations and variables, can be used to produce both finely-tuned static typefaces and experimental motion graphics. He admits that there’s “a gap between the development and the actual application” with this kind of experimentation, due to the lack of software that allows for its implementation in projects. However, Dinamo’s emphasis on typographic variation ultimately allowed them to optimise their new dynamic typeface design, Whyte.

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