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Creating fonts is like talking with different voices

One of the four scribes in the Czech Republic is the FI MU graduate David Březina.


If someone asks David Březina what he is, he answers that he is the scribe. Most are followed by an astonished view. There are not many people who make a font for newspapers, magazines, or other purposes in the republic. "We will live in the Czech Republic for four full-time jobs," says a graduate of the Faculty of Informatics at Masaryk University, who also studied in Copenhagen or Reading, and is also the author of a text font that was selected for the new layout of the monthly Muni.cz.

When you sit in the restaurant and get a menu, do you decide what to do with it, or do you prefer to go?

Both when. I deal with it mostly when it's too nice or too ugly. At first glance, of course, I know if the restaurant hired someone or not. But such perceptions are enormous daily. Thanks to the computer, it is now possible to play almost everybody with graphic design, personally I call it folk creativity.

What people and why do they order a script from you? Or is it more like creating a font and ordering it?

Generally, there are two suggested paths. Either I create a font that is then sold freely in a store, which is very nice in Czech. Or I will make the font tailor made. The company, for example, begins to create a new visual identity, wants a new logo, and the designer usually tells them that it would fit their own font, because it would solve a lot of problems. The visual identity of the company is then hidden in each text that writes it. Such a script belongs only to the client and it sometimes finances me for some time in a half year. But it usually takes the font to create for the same amount of time.

So, do the owners of the companies not ask for the script?

No, they mostly call and write graphics. Few people realize that the fonts are designed. I accept it automatically, I do not even think about it.

How do you argue to people who tell you they do not know why they could have their script?

Erik Spiekermann, a well-known German designer, once said that having different fonts is like speaking with different voices. For each occasion, we use a different voice, and every other company fits a different font.

"In my field is very important systematicity, abstract thinking, a sense of consistency, and not all designers have it. I got all this from computer science. "

What about the production of new fonts themselves? How does it work? It is a very conservative matter, and in the many scriptures that already exist, it's probably not just something new.

You're right, it's getting harder. I also sometimes say that nothing new can be imagined. Generally, as with any other design, you have to figure out the context before you do something. What others did and who you were designing for.

When I proposed the script for academic publications, I had to find out what they were looking for and what they wanted in terms of variants, boldness or digits. I also see if someone does not solve a similar problem. If not, I start drawing the font - I'm looking for whether it's meant for small sizes or subtitles, and so on. The design is made only in a few characters to capture the characteristic elements of the font.

In your diploma thesis, you created a font called Codan named after the Danish metropolis you inspired. As a characteristic feature, you have taken advantage of a typical Danish window and bridge construction. Are you doing this often?

There are enough things to be inspired, but not everything can be used for all types of fonts. Text type has different claims than headline or street markings. This makes it clear that I can not afford too much adorning, for example, in texting. Even more so for newspapers that tend to use more conservative text fonts.

Most often, you are creating a text font. Why not a subtitle that provides more space for creativity?

Texting is a bigger challenge for me. The conditions are much stricter, but creative creativity is no less. Maybe I have a smaller maneuvering space, but I enjoy it more.

A man who wants to know all his people according to his work can probably not make a script. To a certain extent, of course, there are a few people in the world who also have their own handwriting. But it is better not to try it out because the typographic modification of longer texts should be invisible, that is, do not interfere with reading.

When you report to the Faculty of Informatics, you probably will not be thinking about creating new fonts. How did you think?

It certainly was not that computer science did not satisfy me. On the contrary, a lot of things, like theoretical mathematics, I enjoyed much, but I wanted to do something more creative.

That's why I went to my Studio of Graphic Design and Multimedia Studio and began to deal with the graphic design. But in the meantime, I wanted to move, so I had an internship at Danmarks Designskole, where we met an excellent teacher, Ulla Heegaard.

You have also studied Reading. What gave you a stay there?

As for fonts, I learned more in Reading. In Denmark, I was half a year when I did about four five major works, more or less graphic design - logos and the like. Reading gave me language skills, critical thinking skills, and writing about typography and writing, and I learned there a great deal of text writing.

And what did you do with the study of computer science?

In my field is very important systematicity, abstract thinking, a sense of consistency, and not all designers have it. I got all this from computer science. Moreover, I still program today. When I need to speed up some work, I will create a tool that saves me a lot of work. Knowledge of technology is very important.

But of course, among Brno schoolmates, you have a great exception to your profession.

Certainly, very few people are involved in the creation of scripts in the Republic. Only four full-time jobs.

Gallery of graduates