A five weight reinterpretation of light traps. With and without the holes. —

Hello Friend,

It’s nearly time for the public release of ABC Camera (previously known as “CCTV”), and so we wanted to share it with you first.

Pre-Release VIP Package:
-> As usual, we’ve put together a package for you that includes the full font files, a pdf specimen, WIP material, and so on.
-> And here is an exclusive link to the typeface page itself.

  • ABC Camera Regular
  • ABC Camera Medium
  • ABC Camera Bold
  • ABC Camera Heavy
  • ABC Camera Black

  • ABC Camera Plain Regular
  • ABC Camera Plain Medium
  • ABC Camera Plain Bold
  • ABC Camera Plain Heavy
  • ABC Camera Plain Black

ABC Camera existed as a one style, one weight (medium) font for a number of years, living an obscure but happy life holed up (lol) and waiting to be picked up, reconsidered, and extended.

Dinamo member Sascha Bente then took up the task after relocating to Berlin from Lausanne. After a couple of intense months, and with Rob Janes finalizing the mastering and production work, Camera is now a full, five weight family with and without holes.

We’ve been fascinated with the idea of updating light traps for our digital times for a long time now. And since ABC Whyte reimagines ink traps for our current age, turning our attention to light traps felt like a natural next direction for us.

Similar to ink traps, light traps originally compensated for the low resolution of early television screens: When the font appeared, the screen’s blur filled in its holes so that each letter looked complete.

We first encountered light traps in a 1960s typeface for the American TV station CBS, and also when our friend Florian Lamm showed us a sample by Studio Hollenstein from the 1970s (thanks Flo).

Light traps are such an unintentionally bold visual feature, and so we’ve scaled them up for ABC Camera, and begun to call them holes—as in Swiss Emmental. The font is also available without the holes, bringing it back to full functionality and forming an interesting typeface in its own right.

Overall, ABC Camera is a neutral, toned-down grotesque similar in style to Helvetica but with freer, less strictly defined proportions and a narrower body. We’re very curious to see how people will mix the hole and plain versions together!

Why the name change?
We had created CCTV as part of our contribution for “Shoplifters Magazine”, and the name somehow made sense for that. But nowadays, the connotations that the term “CCTV” carries, ie. surveillance, and governmental and corporate spying, don’t sit well with us. So we settled on ABC Camera instead, clearing the trademark and living much happier ever after.

Camera in Use:
You might recognize ABC Camera from our collaboration with our Utah-based friends Actual Source, whose various projects and products have been Camera’s longstanding first home: JP and Davis () most recently used the hole version for their yellow bookends and a series of New Tendency books designed by Daniel Everett, Hassan Rahim, and Geordie Woo respectively.

Next came Alyar Aynetchi, who used it for his ECAL master diploma project, Closer. ABC Camera later appeared on the sticker sheet of GQ Korea’s 20th anniversary issue by Kiyeol Kim and in the identity of the Biennale Carbone by Clémentine Léon & Gautier Scerra at Service Local. Most recently, Swiss-based Onlab used it for DJ Stringray’s new label MICRON AUDIO (released together with Tresor Records).

As always, let us know what you think, and feel free to get in touch for pre-release licensing and more information! Camera might get publicly released 6-8 months from now.

All best,

2-family overview

The studio’s favourite character

Camera includes 5 sets of alternates, like character variants or rounded punctuation

Each sub-family has 598 characters

Words supposedly spoken during the design process 🙄🙊

WIP: testing hole positions

Camera in early use

In-Use: Biennale Carbone by Service Local

In-Use: by Actual Source x New Tendency

In-Use: Closer by Alyar Aynetchi & ECAL