The exploratory and exciting typefaces of Out of the Dark
- Lucy Bourton
- 22 May 2017
The varied and thoughtful typefaces of Out of the Dark is thanks to the design work of Philipp Herrman. The designer’s approach to designing fonts is steeped in historical context, fresh ideas, and playful experimentation. The result is a group of typefaces that are full of excitement when used, and look like a lot of fun to make.
One of Out of the Dark’s typefaces, Blitz Script, particularly caught our eye with its scripted lettering, sitting between ice cream parlour graphics and hip hop album covers. “It is a slick, non-kitsch take on American monoline script typefaces,” says Philipp. Inspired by Roger Excoffons “ingenious typeface,” Mistral due to being “one of the very few connected script typefaces where capitals do not connect with small letters – without losing it’s coherence and smoothness”. The typeface is best displayed in large sizes, designers Philipp and Massimiliano Audretsch wanted to create a font that would work at smaller point sizes too, “designed and optimised for sizes down to 6pt,” they explain. The layout feature included with the typeface, Contextual Alternates, “provides smooth connections between otherwise non-connecting glyphs where necessary. For a nicer rhythm and better legibility, and as a reference to neon certain small letter combinations are purposefully designed as non-connecting pairs.”
Another more geometric typeface from the foundry includes Gza, drawing “inspiration from French old style typeface Devinne by Gustav Schroeder from 1893”. A font of swift and sharp shaping, “Gza’s strong colour, apertures, stroke contrast and proportions are designed to excel as a body typeface in small sizes,” explains Philipp. The typeface exemplifies triangle serifs and pointing shapes, a “clash of two formal principles provides distinct character and makes it perfectly suitable for headlines too”. Actually designed back in 2013, the typeface family has been extended to include regular and bold widths, and “a razor sharp display weight,” in 2017.
Outside of designing his own typefaces, Philipp spends time teaching others to do so too. During his studies and interning, the designer found that “type design made the impression to be a quiet artistic exercise,” he tells It’s Nice That. “The approach was always the same: drawing letters from scratch with brush and black colour, or with pencil.” The designers approach to engaging students with typography is more exploratory. “I try to teach type design in a very experimental way, with a strong connection of tool and form. Whether it is a broad nib pen or a drilling machine. Possibilities are endless, which also means all typefaces haven’t even been drawn yet.”
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.