Plus new Difficult Times drop, Type Mystery Tour x Strelka Institute, alphabetical waterfalls, and more —

Welcome to issue #9 of The Dinamo Update! In this monthly newsletter, we’ll be continuing to share the latest ongoings at the studio in a few parts.

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DIFFICULT TIMES x MOUTHWASH

We teamed up with the Los Angeles-based collective MOUTHWASH to reimagine the original Difficult Times t-shirt first released five years ago. Designed in Berlin and made in Los Angeles, this one features an oversized label with a middle fold.

Excitingly, the drop sold out with minutes of going live—and so we’re able to make a handsome donation of all the profits to the LA Conservation Corps. Thank you everyone for your continued interest in this series <3 You can visit our latest drop here.

 

But why stop there. We’ve been admiring MOUTHWASH for quite some time now and it’s been hugely inspiring to exchange messages, Slack channels, and files with the team these past months. And we’ve also been thinking lately that it’d be nice to use our newsletter not only to talk about ourselves, but to shine a light onto other people in our cosmos. 🌺 That’s why we sat down with Alex, Ben, Abraham, and Mackenzie of MOUTHWASH for a quick chat, illustrated by images we pulled from their personal socials.

How did all of you first come together to start your collective?

Prior to MOUTHWASH forming, we were heavily involved in the creative community through Instagram, and the three of us became friends online first. While we were all from different cities in Middle America, job opportunities with design studios and agencies landed us all in Los Angeles, where we naturally started working together in the off-hours.

The MOUTHWASH brand ran as a side project from 2017 to 2019 while we were all employed elsewhere, and during that time, small commission projects came our way. Eventually, the small commission projects became big ones. We turned in our notices during the same month and the studio was formed in June 2019.

It’s been exciting to watch how you've grown everything so quickly these last years! What are the challenges of building and running a small studio?

It’s true! The studio started with only three of us, and over the last two years, we’ve added a fourth partner—Ben Mingo. Our team has now expanded to twelve people who work with us full-time, in addition to a huge number of freelancers who help it all come to life.

One of the most important and difficult aspects in the beginning was staying focused. We decided early on that there was a standard of work that we wouldn’t compromise under any circumstances. We often had to say no to projects that weren’t aligned with our goals and vision for the studio, even when we really needed the money. For us, time was the most valuable asset, and working on things we actually enjoyed was the reason we started this thing in the first place.

You have your studio, and then also your experiments in print, objects, apparel, etc., as well as the podcast. This is something we can really relate to with our own Hardware label! Can you tell us about how all these different areas connect for you?

There are a few elements to this:
● It’s important to us to prioritize our own curiosity. You can’t wait around for someone else to give you permission to try things. We realized early on that for us to get hired to make the things we wanted to make, we needed to just go ahead and do it ourselves.

● We believe that taste is developed through an exploration of mediums outside of the ones currently in your field of vision. The way we curate a playlist can inform our approach to design. And our explorations in clothing can steer the art direction surrounding photography. Everything is connected, and the more dots we can explore, the more lines we can draw between them.

● The world doesn’t need more, it needs better. We want to create a destination where everything is valuable, visually inspirational, or functional. The internet is so big, so we’re trying to find ways to make it a smaller, more useful resource for people who are like us.

What upcoming experiments and other future plans are you looking forward to?

Currently, we’re focused on a new initiative called MOUTHWASH Research Center. It’s a developmental program dedicated to experimentation. We want to use it to emphasize the importance of research as a methodical part of everyday life, which we believe has lost its weight over time as the world prioritizes output over input.

More simply, we’re cultivating this as a space for self-initiated experiments and giving back to the creative community. We want to help people in the ways we wish somebody had helped us in the early days, whether that’s a book giveaway including texts we wish we had read earlier in our careers or donating money to organizations that help remove obstacles for young people.

With that in mind, can you tell us about the charity that the profits of the Difficult Times t-shirt are being donated to?

The LA Conservation Corps provide opportunities for young adults throughout Los Angeles who are out of work and school to explore new pathways to meaningful career and education opportunities while improving the quality of life in Southern California. It serves as the largest conservation corps in all of America.

The decision felt natural and obvious to us. Both our studios have spent time investing in different forms of learning and education—through podcasts, teaching, workshops, student offers, etc. Providing opportunities for other people to build things like MOUTHWASH is a privilege for us. When something has been impactful to you, you often find yourself trying to equip others to experience it as well.

Thank you MOUTHWASH <3

 

EARLY ACCESS NEWS

It is what it isss 🐍

Spike to no-Spike Variable Font

Five weights each

G R y a alternates

Good news. We’ve finished spike-proofing ABC Helveesti. The extension of this Dinamo classic into two full families with five weights each is now available in our Early Access area.

Helveesti reimagines light traps designed to help compensate for blurring during the phototypesetting era, and it’s a reinterpretation of a typeface that Fabian first found in a vintage children’s book in a second hand bookstore in Tallinn, Estonia. Slide the lock to find out more about this tarantula. Designed together with Estonia-based Andree Paat.

-> Visit Helveesti and request early access

 

Also: Two more fonts will hit the online streets soon...

ABC Camera

Families
The project spans two families, one with and one without the iconic holes. Each has five weights.

● Camera
● Camera Plain

Styles
• Regular
• Medium
• Bold
• Heavy
• Black

 

ABC Social

One of three widths

Alternates for a and g

Families
The project spans three different widths. Each width has seven weights & Italics. We also produced a Variable Font, which combines them into one file.

● Social Condensed
● Social Normal
● Social Normal Mono
● Social Extended
● Social All-in-One Variable Font

Styles
• Thin + Italic
• Light + Italic
• Book + Italic
• Regular + Italic
• Medium + Italic
• Bold + Italic
• Black + Italic

 

WEBSITE UPDATES

We’re spending about 200 hours a month improving existing features on the site (cool) and creating new ones (more cool). Scroll on for what’s been happening lately.

TYPE IN USE IS GROWING

Thank you to everyone who has been sending us projects for our new Type in Use space! 🐩 Our dear Tina Lehmkuhl is continually adding these to our digital collage of context shots, which you can now filter by typeface.

Visit and contribute to Type in Use

DOWNLOAD ALL TRIALS AT ONCE

Instead of selecting and downloading each of our trial fonts individually—like some character from Parks and Rec or The Office—you can now download all trials at once. Just click the big magical button up top.

Download free trials

TYPEFACE WATERFALL

We’ve created another dedicated page that translates our growing typeface library into a colorful, alphabetical waterfall. For best results, go full screen—pair with incense, ambient music, and low lighting—and scroll. 💆‍♀️

Typeface Waterfall

 

Licensing Updates: Video

As part of our mission to simplify licensing to the max, we’ve added a new Video License option to our shop. For people working in cinema—be it your rural TikTok starlet streaming via a Samsung Galaxy or the latest Hollywood screening at the outdoor cinema—the license to use our typefaces in any video context can now be purchased directly (without having to get in touch with us first).

More and more creatives—and not just graphic designers, but also those working in fashion, the arts, product design, architecture, etc.—are extending their projects to video. Projects are no longer limited to print, or web, or other single formats, they often span a wide range of media— and that can be very powerful. Moving type and images are being consumed on very different, non-traditional, and fast moving platforms.

We want to support the people who experiment in these fields not only by making a video license available to the public, but also by creating a special bundle for individual digital creators.

Digital creators bundle

Desktop + Video + Social = Price of Desktop

Individuals or companies with three or less employees are entitled to a special package: When buying the Desktop License, you’ll receive the Social Media and the Video License for free—so at no additional cost.

Film people, lets, literally, roll. 🎥 🍿

 

WORK & (careful) TRAVEL

We’re sending appreciation to Strelka Institute for hosting us as visiting teachers and lecturers in Moscow last month! The journey and time spent was hugely memorable, not least because it was the first time Johannes and Fabian have travelled together for over 18 months. Huge rockets and buildings that seemed around 120% of the usual scale lined their way. Their talk is now streaming on YouTube and Strelka documented the event—including a short interview in Russian.

Ongoing Projects

Gravity Compressed

The first billboards featuring the custom typefaces we created for On Running have been spotted across Berlin 👀. Its Traveling Agency Pop-Up also recently featured ABC Gravity across the identity Adli Klein designed. It’s nice to see so many Dinamo fonts coalesce for what currently feels like the most exciting shoe brand.

Custom typeface by Dinamo

Pictures by Philipp Groth (acte)

In other project news, we’re excited to inform you that our friends and collaborators from Kasper-Florio will be on board of the Dinamo-Goat-Boat as we continue down its stream. We have something special in the works with the global platform for new and used sneakers—stay tuned.

 

Educational Program: Coding Resistance

FUTURESS.ORG is where feminism, design, and politics meet. It’s a learning community striving to democratise design education, and a publishing platform building solidarities across scales. Futuress have recently introduced a new and exciting online study program: Coding Resistance, with the goal to expose coded inequalities and reimagine technologies for better, brighter, and more just futures!

The identity for Futuress’s latest Coding Resistance program uses Ronde—a typeface by Rani Yasmine Putri that’s also a forthcoming Dinamo release. We’re also sponsoring four fellowships and five registrations to the event. The registrations will be offered via a lottery on our Instagram channel soon.

Coding Resistance is:

  • A nine-week Lecture Series bringing together stellar designers, researchers, and activists: Morehshin Allahyari, Iyo Bisseck, Timnit Gebru, Marwa Fatafta, Aimi Hamraie, Lucas Larochelle, Maryam Mustafa, Minna Salami, and Nakeema Stefflbauer. Registrations are now open on a rolling basis.

  • A free-of-charge, three-month Fellowship for participants from historically marginalized backgrounds. Each person brings their research and interests to the group, and together—as a community of transnational solidarity—we support the crafting of independent narratives, which will soon appear on Futuress.

Applications will be accepted until September 1, 2021, at 12p.m. CEST

-> Check this document for further information

 

Dev Job in Berlin

Our beloved tech partners at Human & Machines are growing their team and looking for experienced web developers.

If you’re interested in working with the team (to evolve our very own abcdinamo.com for one, and also to work closely with many design affine brands), get in touch via the form below. We can highly recommend this intimate, friendly, and complexity-loving studio and its approach to all things web development <3

-> Take a look at the job offer for more details

 

P.S.

Control Synt’s variable angles without speed limit

  • Dinamo member Kaj Lehmann has been nominated for the Swiss Design Awards for his typeface ABC Synt. For the exhibition—taking place in Basel from 20-26 September—he’ll be showcasing a special spatial installation that plays and modulates Synt’s various Italic angles via a real Honda CBR 600 F PC25 supersport bike 😳. If you’re in Switzerland, be sure to drop by and visit his machine...
  • We’re eagerly awaiting the publication of the Best Book Design from all over the world—a beautiful book in its own right crafted by Sebastian Bissinger & Dan Solbach and featuring our forthcoming ABC Marist by Seb McLauchlan.
  • Check out Godly.website, a heavenly (sorry) database that lets you filter through a stream of godlike websites on the Internet. You can even filter by various parameters, like fonts.
  • We love this new book, Reviving Type, about archival research and contemporary type design by Céline Hurka and Nóra Békés. It’s a “cookbook” for any one interested in the world of revival type design.
  • If you’re in Berlin, check out A Guide to Softer Ware at the soft power space near Tempelhof. There, Charlotte Rohde and Vera van de Seyp—with their shared background in (type-)design to creative coding—deconstruct the format of the instruction manual (including 1960s technical manuals addressing women to YouTube and memes today). More info here!
 

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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