Completed in 2010 for House Industries, Mierop Inline is a revival of a photolettering
typeface. Based on the DNA from a film scan of Craig Mierop's original
photolettering design, I extended the small uppercase character set to
include lowercase, punctuation and accents. The project was overseen by Ben Kiel,
who suggested creating a set of open-countered uppercase alternates as a
way of preserving some of the more idiosyncratic features of the
original design. Although inline typefaces are time-consuming and demand a flexible approach to drawing, it is satisfying when you can avoid optical problems with a clever use of the inline features.
In the first half of 2010, I worked with Commercial Type to develop a custom type family for the University of Phoenix. The family includes serif and sanserif styles: I drew the romans for the sanserif; Berton Hasebe drew the sanserif italics. Abi Huynh and Ross Milne drew the serif companion family. Christian Schwartz oversaw the whole project. Phoenix Sans was initially conceived as a sanserif version of my Tasman typeface but over the course of the project it developed an independent personality. The sanserif family includes five weights and is licensed exclusively to the University of Phoenix until 2020.
MADA Sans is a custom type family for MADA (Monash Art Design & Architecture). Conceived by Professor John Warwicker and based on the overlapping circles of his accompanying logo mark, MADA Sans is an all-caps display family for exclusive use by the faculty. Provided with John's sketches for a Medium weight, my brief was to expand them into a family and iron out some of the awkwardness that comes with strict adherence to geometry, making optical adjustments and balancing forms without losing too much of the typeface's modular charm. The result is a nine-weight family which appears strictly geometric, yet avoids the clotted counters and intersections, the awkward curve transitions and the top-heavy forms which often come with this territory.
The MUMA type family was designed by David Pidgeon as a central element of a his studio's new identity for the Monash University Museum of Art. Inspired by the gallery's central corridor and designed within the constraints of the university's brand guidelines, the MUMA type family has the skeleton of Helvetica, the university's corporate typeface. My role in the project was to digitise the family, cleaning up curves, extending the character set and creating four weights which can be overlaid to create different effects. The level of detail in the typeface -- the tiny rounded stroke terminals and the hairline gaps between strokes -- posed a number of technical challenges and called for an unsually fine drawing grid of 2000 units per em.
The Tasman family was conceived in 2009 as my final project in the Type and Media masters course at The Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. It is now available for licensing via the Re-Type foundry. Tasman is a sturdy, warm general purpose type family. Its characters are unambiguous: strong serifs, punctuation and diacritics, large small caps and hybrid figures, and strong shifts in weight between styles. Tasman was first conceived as a typeface for newspapers: the personality is as warm and playful as possible without losing the tone required to deliver all kinds of news.
Completed in 2015, the Assemble typeface involved the digitisation and optical refinement of existing Illustrator outlines for Assemble Projects, a Melbourne-based residential property developer focused on small footprint projects. Digitisation was overseen by Peter Deering, working for Local Peoples, who helped to find the right balance between technical correctness and clumsy charm in the character of the typeface.
Created in 2016 for Vincent La at Arrowbronze in Dandenong, this typeface is a digital revival of gravestone lettering created by an ageing engraving machine. Intended to make digital composition easier, the typeface brings together uppercase, numerals and punctuation in a single kerned skeleton typeface.
Sir John Monash
The Sir John Monash Centre is a new interpretive centre located at the Australian National Memorial in Villers Bretonneux, France, which tells the story of Australia’s involvement on the Western Front battlefields during the First World War. Working with Alex Ward at Pidgeon Ward in 2015, two custom type families, Text and Display, were developed for the opening of the centre which is scheduled for 2018. The brief was to create typefaces both classical and slightly irreverent in personality, celebrating the young Australian diggers who are remembered fondly by locals as much for their sense of humour as for their courage in battle.
An early sample of the SJMC signage cast in bronze
Originally designed for Wallpaper Magazine in 2014, the Darby Sans family consists of two related sans serifs, an elegant, high-contrast display and a workhorse sans with lower contrast. Drawing inspiration from eighteenth century British type and lettering, this project for Commercial Type was conceived and overseen throughout by Paul Barnes. I worked with Paul to add extra weights, italics, language support and OpenType features.
The Future is Here
This typeface was commissioned by Stuart Geddes and Brad Haylock as part of their graphic design for The Future is Here, an exhibition at the RMIT Design Hub, which investigated the impact of new technologies within the context of a ‘third wave industrial revolution’ or a post-digital age. Based on Hermes by Optimo, an existing part of the Design Hub's identity, the typeface was drawn as a skeleton, intended to be rendered through the application of a stroke in software or a router-bit. Many alternates, variations on each letterform, were drawn and programmed in an effort to simulate the imperfections of handwriting. See Stuart's record of the exhibition here.