New Typeface Naming Tool, A Bespoke Typeface for RIMOWA + Early Access Fonts —

Welcome to issue #2 of THE DINAMO UPDATE. In our new monthly mailer, we’ll be sharing the latest ongoings at the studio in six parts: ① This Month’s Hot Topic, ② A Similarly Hot Topic, ③ New Releases, ④ Work & Travel, ⑤ Tutorials, and ⑥ A Few More Things.

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Before we start:
Thank you everyone for your lovely feedback about the first issue of #TDU. We’ll try to keep our content quality up and spirit levels high! Please keep sending your thoughts over to us, it's always a joy to receive.

 

New Typeface Naming Tool

Everyone knows that a name is the most important part of a typeface. But finding a good name is difficult. Just like with web URLs, most good names are taken quickly. And you don’t want to run around with a great font that has a poor name—it makes you both look like fools.

So we built a new tool: the Dinamo Name Crawler. It generates names based on your choice of characters. You can crawl the names you like for further information, derivatives, and language translations. Maybe a translation proves to be the better name, or the beginning of a new name crawl?

To win, try finding a name for your typeface made from the greatest looking characters in the font. While crawling, you can save your favorite results to your own list and then we recommend reading these out loud: It helps determine their strength and sense of character, plus it entertains your neighbors.

Read more about the making of Name Crawler here, including a few insights from its developers Taichi Aritomo and Rob Janes 💕

www.dinamo-namecrawler.com

 

Bespoke Typeface for RIMOWA

The bespoke typeface we’ve designed for RIMOWA has just begun its global roll-out, and the project is now documented our website.

 

To offer you a bit of a backstory, we caught up with the design team that gave us the job: London-based Commission studio. We spoke with founder and creative director Christopher Moorby about the process behind designing a new identity for the century-old luggage brand, and what a bespoke font brought to the table. What follows is a little excerpt from our conversation, and for more on the project, head this way.

What were you looking to achieve with your new visual identity for RIMOWA?

The ambition for the identity was always to create something that spoke the same language as the product itself. The previous branding from the ’80s felt disconnected from the actual luggage, which feels incredibly engineered, with every detail carefully considered. The former branding felt like ’80s corporate design for Nintendo or Oral B. It had no relationship to the product—in fact, the logo used to be applied to the suitcases as a sticker, which I think is the perfect metaphor for the problems with it visually.

What kind of style were you imagining for the bespoke typeface?

We knew from the outset we wanted it to be based on the workhorse grotesques that originated around the same time as the company in Germany. This felt like a very natural fit conceptually, but also aesthetically: Engineered, neutral, modernist. But we wanted some idiosyncratic details within it that would set it apart and tie it to the history and design language of RIMOWA. In our eyes Dinamo are the eccentric workhorse specialists—always finding interesting visual hooks to make gothic typefaces special and distinct. They also know what’s the right amount of detail too—experts at finding the balance between unique character and workaday usefulness.

Thank you, Chris 💚

No doubt the best slide we’ve ever sent to a client.

 

New Early Access Releases

 

The type world spins fast these days. It makes us want to slow down our own release speed, allowing for our fonts to surface a little more gradually and in a more considered way. To turn down the speed of the publishing carousel, typefaces in our Early Access section are available by “request only” prior to their official release. If you’re interested in using them, click the lock, fill in the relevant information, and we’ll get back to you 🔓

 

ABC Synt is now ready to unlock

🤔😵🤧

Designed by Kaj Lehmann, ABC Synt is in the Scotch Roman style with a parametric stem-rhythm. It made its first appearance in issue 17 of sound and club culture magazine zweikommasieben, which Kaj also co-publishes. ABC Synt reimagines the typefaces documented in The Practise of Typography (1900) by Theodore Low De Vinne—a book that tells the story of the Scotch Roman style—in the context of a techno beat.

During the research phase, Kaj investigated systematized (or unitized) letter-widths and spacing system, finding that De Vinne mentions a so-called ‘self-spacing’ type that was developed by Benton, Waldo & Co. With this ‘self-spacing’ type, metal-cast letters had specified widths to speed up the typesetting process: It enabled typesetters to compose justified text by hand much quicker. At a later date, unitized letter-widths were introduced for hot-metal and phototypesetting, and now in contemporary, digital type design, the letter widths are defined on a grid of 1,000 units. For ABC Synt, Kaj developed a stricter unitized system, which divides the letters into a maximum of 28 units, and then synchronizes the distances between and within the letters. This conceptual approach defines the design of the typeface.

As a result ABC Synt’s rhythm is strict, with each stem at an equal distance from the last; its speed can be turned up or down by selecting different styles of the font’s slant cuts, which sit at drastic angles. Another special detail of the font is the little kink at the end of the stems. It counter-balances the weight and helps to print the typeface sharper.” ABC Synt has four styles: A Regular, Slant (with an angle of 16°), Turbo (with an angle of 32°), and Italics (with an angle of 16°). It’s available as a Variable Font (flexibility sliding from Upright to Turbo) or a Static Font (including the entire slant range).

  • ABC Marfa and ABC Asfalt are also both possible to unlock via our Early Access page, and are nearing the end of their countdown to public release! ABC Marfa was stylistically born in the hot metal typesetting period and originally drawn in homage to early North American gothic typefaces; ABC Asfalt, on the other hand, references the elongated, tightly-packed characters of road lettering, which are stretched to compensate for the low perspective of an approaching car.

  • ABC Monument Grotesk Mono, designed by Kasper-Florio, has been sitting in our Early Access section for six months now and will be released into our public Retail Library in 10 days! After this extension, we consider Monument Grotesk’s cycle, now spanning over 3 related typeface families and a total of over 48 styles complete.

 

Work & Travel

Ladies and Gentlemen: ABC ROM

Meanwhile, Seb McLauchlan, of our London stronghold, is putting the finishing touches on ABC ROM, a typeface examining the links and differences between early grotesque and gothic typefaces produced in the USA and Europe in the 20th Century. He’s fused together these references, creating a sense of dissonance while balancing industrial purpose with a humanistic touch.

This mixture of references is present both in the character set, and across the spectrum of ABC ROM's six weights. Proportions are both wide and generous in caps, and narrower—more workmanlike—in lowercase. As the font increases in weight, a more obvious contrast is applied, allowing it's heavier cuts to function at smaller sizes, for the capital letters the weight is applied inwardly—condensing from a wide European style to more American gothic proportions.

ABC ROM will come in five different widths—Normal, Mono, Narrow, Condensed, and Compressed—and it’ll cover a weight range from Light to Regular, Medium, Bold, Heavy, and Black.

A project of this range and detail can be a challenge to control, especially when working from a kitchen table. We urge Seb—and the people near him—to stay hydrated.

  • Erkin Karamemet has come on board for the final production stages of ABC Social to draw its Italic. As usual, Erkin over-delivers and keeps a very honorably clean to-do list.

  • Paris-based graphic & type designer Margot Lévêque, the most recent addition to the Dinamo family, is pushing forward on ABC Marya: an elegant Serif style typeface with lots of swash variations and an XXL set of opulent ligatures.

  • Elias Hanzer is pushing ABC Arizona over the finish line, a cross-genre Variable Font that slides between sans and sans serif, allowing you to explore every step and genre in-between. Elias first began working on this typeface during Dinamo’s Lago di Como, Italy company retreat in August 2018.

  • For those who forget about their dental care while travelling, we’ve just restocked our Dinamo Darkroom Curaprox Toothbrushes. Pair it with our Hangul oversized bucket hat, designed by Nayo Kim, now also back in stock.

  • We’ve been holding back for a while, but can now finally announce that the release of our Maximage & Haw-lin & Dinamo collaboration on a multi-colored 'Rey’ Dietiker chair is approaching, or should we say, settling down!💺🎨

  • Robert Janes (Team Berlin) and Renan Rosatti (Team Basel) are working on a PDF proofing sheet generator, which will be available for you in the Darkroom area soon.

  • Wael Morcos and Khajag Apelian have finished carving out ABC Favorit Arabic, as has Naïma Ben Ayed with Maha Mouidine and Fouad Lahbib with ABC Favorit Tifinagh. Both will be released in the upcoming quarter.

 

Tutorials

  • We’ve found that the web is currently the best medium to experiment with the potential of Variable Fonts—both while designing them, but also when designing with them. In case you haven’t see it yet, the first of our Darkroom tutorials is online, and outlines our tips for Using Variable Fonts on the Web.

  • A long-standing problem on the web is that there is no standardized way to outline text—and with some text, you just really want it outlined. In our second (and freshly released) Darkroom tutorial, our engineer Robert Janes takes users through the steps we’ve recently used to Create a Simple Color Outline Font from an Existing Typeface with bus.group and Enno Pötschke for the Berlin fine-dining restaurant ernst 😚

 

A Few More Things

New Formage Bookend. Photo by Florian David, Berlin

Garb Swirl rings photographed in London

  • Our dear friend and frequent collaborator Immo Schneider has teamed up with design studio Ertl und Zull to create a line of New Formage Bookends. Each bright yellow, aluminium piece is a one off, with individualized holes cut into the metal—so just as unique as each slice of a block of Swiss Emmental.

  • Garb has just launched its solid silver spiral rings; each rope-like design is unique and made by hand to size 🌀 You can get in touch with them to order yours! The research-led brand is a collaboration between Sophie Coates and our close collaborator Eloise Harris; the pair have been crafting together remotely since the first lock-down of 2020, and recently on something Dinamo-related that we'll be sharing soon...

  • Our own editor Madeleine Morley has just co-written the introduction to designer Polina Joffe’s Ode to Construction—Abstraction in the Digital Age, an essay titled “Elegy to Construction.” The art book is available to preorder with Onomatopee.

 

👀 you in February

Empty Berlin Studio, January 2021

 

Thank you for reading. This was the second issue of The Dinamo Update. You can read the first one here and find our entire archive here.

Speak soon,
Team Dinamo

 
 
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