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Janson Max Neue

Commissioned by and in close collaboration with graphic designer Sam de Groot we re-drew his Janson interpretation from 2008 for his design of Martin Herbert’s book project “The Uncertainty Principle” published by Sternberg Press in 2013.

Graphic Design and Design Direction by Sam de Groot Book published by Sternberg Press. Type Design by Sam de Groot (2008) and Johannes Breyer, Fabian Harb (2013)

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Sam de Groot remembers:

In 2008, I was looking for an odd, chunky serif font for two odd, chunky little books I was making (Little Titans and And yet, and yet... by Nescio). I couldn’t find a suitable one, so I hacked one into existence based on Janson Text, simply shortening all descenders / ascenders / capitals and adding some boldness. This simple procedure resulted in some beautifully comical, stocky characters (such as U and P) as well as some examples of my rather limited mastery of the Bézier curve (most notably the S). The rough risograph printing helped obscure some of these imperfections.

In 2013, I was looking for an odd, chunky serif font for a book I was designing for Sternberg Press (The Uncertainty Principle by Martin Herbert). I had to think of my old Janson Max. Annoyed with all the rough aspects of my hack, I asked Johannes and Fabian to remaster it. In dialogue with me, they cleaned up every single curve, reevaluated the horizontal/vertical contrast and the textures of serifs and terminals. More noticeably, they redesigned the characters that had bugged me from the start: S, a, and the lining numerals. We spent some time looking at original type specimens by Miklós Kis (upon which Janson Text is based) as well as other revivals. Lots of good stuff there, but we decided to forget about those. Instead, Dinamo’s additions to Janson Max Neue are refreshingly ahistorical and contemporary. (Sam de Groot, 10 May 2016, Amsterdam)

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