✨ 15 type foundries discuss the challenges of publishing fonts today ✨ —

Welcome to issue #14 of The Dinamo Update! In this monthly newsletter, we’ll be continuing to share the latest ongoings at the studio in five or so parts.

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New Release: Camera

We’re pleased to announce the widespread release of Camera & Camera Plain today, including brand new italics 😬!

ABC Camera is a reinterpretation of light traps, which were originally used in the 60s and 70s to make text more readable on TV screens. Similar in logic to ink traps, light traps compensated for low resolution: When the font appeared, the screen’s blur filled in its holes so that each letter looked complete. Overall, Camera is a neutral, toned-down grotesque similar in style to Helvetia but with freer, less strictly defined proportions and a narrower body.

Camera and Camera Plain: Both include 10 styles—5 upright & 5 italics—& Variable Fonts that you can control yourself.

 

Camera Variable

Initially, ABC Camera existed as a one style, one weight font for a number of years, living its obscure but happy life holed up (lol) and waiting to be picked up, reconsidered, and extended. Dinamo member Sascha Bente took up the task after relocating to Berlin from Lausanne, and then in recent months, our in-house italics master Fabiola Mejía has chipped away at its obliques, which are premiering today.

Both families are also packaged as Variable Fonts.

 

Alternate characters

Camera includes five sets of alternates that adjust the font’s flavor—plus a couple of other hopefully noteworthy things.

Schoolbook G, R & a

Simplified t

Double storey g

Trigger warning: Arrows with holes 🤭

Square punctuation

Rounded punctuation

Added this pic just to surprise our tool loving editor 😚

 

-> Get free trials and test Camera online 🕳
-> Play with Camera Variable
-> Play with Camera Plain Variable

 

Dinamo Type Foundry Survey

We asked 15 independent type designers and foundry partners six questions that we’ve been asking ourselves lately—and we published their collective answers online. 💥 

We’re very grateful that old and new friends alike took the time to go through our survey—and we feel the answers have a lot to say about working in type today. We hope that collecting the voices of foundries big and small in one place will help the community come together to think through difficult questions, and hopefully, it might also lead to greater transparency as a whole!

 

First round of participants

⚓ Darden Studio
🔥 Blaze Type
🌈 Tiny Type Co.
♟️ OH no Type Company
🌺 Leah Maldonado
🦢 Klim Type Foundry
🎠 Margot Lévêque Studio

🪴 Greenhouse Type
🍏 NaN
💌 Font of the Month Club
🧵 Commercial Type
📕 Monotype
💅 Studio Triple
🐈‍⬛ Jung-Lee Type Foundry

 

Answering these banger questions

 

Below, we’ve highlighted a few shared thoughts about the main challenges around publishing fonts today.

Head this way to read all the messages in our roundtable conversation.

It’s important that as the industry starts to evolve, more opportunities are made accessible to people of color, non-binary people, those from low income backgrounds, etc.

—🪴 Anna Sing, Greenhouse Type

What one foundry allows, others do not. Uses that one foundry charges for, others give away for free. This isn’t great for the industry. We could all do better if we got on the same page (or at least the same chapter).

—📕 Charles Nix, Monotype

It’s worrying that it’s almost impossible for companies to use their identity typefaces in web-based tools like Google Docs & Slides, and choosing a free alternative is becoming more and more normalized.

—🧵 Christian Schwartz, Commercial Type

The larger platforms for selling your fonts are sort of chuegy (looking at you myfonts.com) and drive prices down—there is a race to the bottom attitude when it comes to pricing. It's a shame. It’s like fast fashion

—🌺 Leah Maldonado

An interesting challenge is context collapse. Social media has become an important part of type discovery, which is great for finding new fonts but does not encourage spending time with them or learning more about them.

—💌 David Jonathan Ross, Font of the Month Club

Ensuring locals make fonts for locals is the hardest challenge right now I think.

—🦢 Kris Sowersby, Klim Type Foundry
 

Scroll through the entire conversation on our website’s survey waterfall

Meme by Dinamo, 2020

Many thanks to ⚓ Joyce Ketterer of Darden Studio,🔥 Matthieu Salvaggio of Blaze Type, 🌈 Robin Mientjes of Tiny Type Co., ♟️ James Edmondson of OH no Type Company, 🌺 Leah Maldonado, 🦢 Kris Sowersby of Klim Type Foundry, 🎠 Margot Lévêque Studio, 🪴 Anna Sing of Greenhouse Type, 🍏 Luke Prowse of NaN, 💌 David Jonathan Ross of Font of the Month Club, 🧵 Paul Barnes of Commercial Type, 🧵 Christian Schwartz of Commercial Type, 📕 Charles Nix of Monotype, 💅 Jérémy Landes of Studio Triple, and 🐈‍⬛ Jung-Lee Type Foundry for taking part!

 

Licensing Updates + Powerful add-ons

We’re offering a pair of new add-ons that you can grab while purchasing your fonts: Third Party Sharing and Custom Font Name. For a mere +10% on top of your license fee, you receive two things: safety and beauty.

Safety: You can now legally share your font files with your collaborators without breaching the license.

Beauty: You can change the name of your font and how it shows up across all your applications. It adds a special touch and you can make sure that everybody in your company uses the right fonts.

 

Third Party Sharing

 

Custom Font Name

 

Meet our Team: Fabiola Mejía

Fabiola is an independent type designer from Costa Rica. In 2017, she completed the Type@Cooper Condensed Program in NYC, and in 2019, she received an MA in Typeface Design from TypeMedia in The Netherlands. Apart from working remotely with Dinamo from San José, she recently founded SUPERCONTINENTE—a research space and archival platform dedicated to her type design practice and collaborative graphic explorations.

Fabi joined by her new assistant Lira.

And Fabi on a team call. Also: Say hello to our newest team member Olga.

 

Mini Italics Tutorial

It was Fabiola who worked on the italics we premiered above. And so below, Fabiola takes us through the task of angling Camera, with and without its holes:

“In general, the drawing process involved rotating upright glyphs by half of the italic angle defined and then slanting by another half.”

“From there, my time was spent making verticals and horizontals straight again and adjusting the (distorted) shapes while making sure things interpolated smoothly.”

Note: The holes stay upright while the character slants ☝️

“Once the plain style was done, I moved on to the bulleted style, which was the main challenge.”

“We decided to keep the bullets as circular and round as possible, which involved careful adjustments so as to not exaggerate tension.”

 

STUDIO UPDATES

These past weeks, typefaces in the pipeline have been evolving and IRL team meetings have grown in size. Also, the first (spray) bottle of sunscreen has been bought in Berlin.

Mathias and Sascia have been doing type archaeology for Seb McLauchlan’s upcoming release: ABC Marist.

Stefan Marx and Dinamo’s Erkin Karamemet lay the finishing touches on our handwriting font collaboration.

Sneak peak: Elias Hanzer and Lucas Liccini have begun work on the printed(!) Arizona Specimen. With mad illustration by Célestin Krier. Also: Arizona Condensed is coming!!

Johannes went to Cologne to work with Raffael back2back on a top secret website update, which may or may not disrupt the industry.

The final parts of ABC A-Z arrived, a love affair between metal parts and a digital dot font devised with artists Lukas & Oli of BNAG. Four years in the making and dropping soon. Photo by Amelie Niederbuchner.

 

Fonts in Use

Dinamo member Tina keeps her eyes on how our fonts get used each month and archives it all in our continually growing, geometric waterfall. Here are her most recent picks:

Favorit Lining and Favorit Hangul Lining as train rails for Train to Station, designed by Johnny Joo and Whale Park.

Monument Grotesk in the identity for OFFTA—a festival dedicated to avant-garde live art. Design by @supersysteme and photography by@eliottlgr.

Helveesti Spikes in use for the new identity and website of the tiny Bar Maroto @barmaroto. Designed by @offoffice @leonie___seitz and @sophiehsb with code by @marceldiedrich.

 

P.S.

True type. Spotted in Berlin one beautiful evening 🐠

  • For Harpers, Will Stephenson visits the Bitcoin 2021 convention in Miami—"the largest bitcoin event in history”—and finds himself amongst the new breed of Bitcoin maximalists.
  • An exploration of how the ubiquity of technology and the standardisation of internet-based connectivity has facilitated the emergence of new digital economies—using ABC Maxi.
  • Fabiola and Fabian spoke with Rob van Leijsen about the challenges around creative coding for the encompassing Post Digital Graphic Design publication launched by HEAD—Genève.
  • Like many, we’ve been watching a lot of shows about charismatic entrepreneurs with creative approaches to fact lately. The styling of everyone’s favorite biotech titan has been especially 👌.
  • In Cologne, Stefan Marx has just opened his newest exhibition, Still Life, at Ruttkowski;68. New type works are on display, as well as a motif series with fruit still lifes, and flower and frog paintings. We can’t wait to visit.

Thank you for checking in with our latest issue of The Dinamo Update. You can read all of the back issues in our archive.

Speak soon,
Team Dinamo 🦊

 
 
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