FamiraFonts
FamiraFonts
Find my retail library of fonts and custom type solutions at www.kombin.at (soon though at www.famiraFonts.com)
© by FamiraFonts
The Helmut Lang Logotype
The Helmut Lang Logotype
Design of the new word mark for an international fashion brand
© by Helmut Lang LLC
In de Knoei
In de Knoei
Typographic concept for a paperback novel by Belgian author Herman Brusselmans.
© by Eprom Organisatie Adviseurs, ’02
Moving card
Moving card
Illustration and custom type for my moving announcement card to NYC in 2005
© by Hannes Famira
Keiko Text
Keiko Text
Upcoming release of a family of typefaces in four optical weights
© by FamiraFonts
48h Neukölln
48h Neukölln
Custom typeface for Berlin's biggest cultural festival in 2013
© by FamiraFonts
GAK Symbols
GAK Symbols
For the Dutch department of labour’s way finding system while at Studio Dumbar.
© by the GAK
Céline
Céline
Custom typeface for a fashion brand commissioned by Studio Peter Miles
© by Céline
Hannes Famira
Hannes F. Famira

→ I am a graphic designer, a type designer and a teacher of both disciplines. After more than 20 years in the Netherlands, in Switzerland, the USA and in Germany I now live in New York City again. I drew the typeface you are reading right now and called it Interpol Serif. I also hand-coded this website in BBedit, old school HTML5, CSS3 on the back of ExpressionEngine. Thanks for visiting my site and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me…

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News

Since I moved back to New York in January 1014 there have been lots of exciting new developments. Check back here to see what I am up to. Also let me know if you have ideas or want to get something done…


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August 2016

Type@Cooper Extended Program, one year of hardcore typedesign

start: October 03, 2016
where: The Cooper Union in New York City
permalink: http://www.famira.com#coopertype_extended

Good news, this October I will start teaching type design in the Type@Cooper Extended Program. I am honored to be taking over from Stephane Elbaz, Christian Schwartz and Berton Hasebe. Here is what I am planing to do in the year ahead.

In the fall term we will explore the different forces that shape the design space in typeface design. Then we will create a revival project based on a text typeface of the participants’ choice. The one limitation of course will be that the original must have been released before 1940, which places it in the public domain. In the spring term we will take what we learned and use it as a starting point for an original typeface project with the one caveat that it has to be be made to work in text size and distinguish itself from the revival project by featuring the exact opposite kind of contrast. In the final term participants will take their original typeface projects and turn it into a family.

So long story short, I am really looking forward to meeting the 2016/17 class of America's next freggin' delta force of type design. Stay tuned and I will report back once we get started.

Read more…

May 2016

On the topic of backups, make them!

permalink: http://www.famira.com#make-backups

At the occasion of another recent massive data loss suffered by one of my students I am posting my own personal recommendations. I just can't bear when beautiful typefaces go to heaven so prematurely. If you are not sure how to tackle this chapter here is my favorite combination of affordable, redundant backup strategies.

  • I use a software called CarbonCopyCloner to create daily, scheduled backups. CCC copies all files and that includes invisible system level data. That way your external backup drive becomes bootable and can serve as a rescue drive from which to start your Mac when the internal HDD poops out and lays its sweet little head to rest eternally.

  • These backups go onto en external hard drive. In case of doubt either trust the Wirecutter team to pick the right one or just take it to the (still affordable) next level.

  • Additionally install backblaze which uploads the contents of any hard drive continuously into the cloud. If you consider theft or fire at least one of your backups should live in a location physically different from the place where the original data is kept.

  • Just to take advantage of every avenue presenting itself so easily purchase Apple's TimeCapsule and set it up with TimeMachine. TimeMachine is the backup software that comes as a native part of Mac OS X. If you have a Mac you have TimeMachine installed already. Use it.

  • If you are running a MacBook of any sort combine above mentioned CarbonCopyCloner with a Nifty MiniDrive, the card holder that stays in your SD card slot flush and permanently. If your laptop gets run over by a car or falls into the bathtub your chances are just so much better with one of these in place.

Any single one of these is better than nothing. Don't wait.

April 2016

So this happened, time flies.

permalink: http://www.famira.com#time_flies

Last week my friend Stephanie called asking if she was going to see me on Friday. I wasn't sure what she was talking about so she told me that she got an email that said I was going to be among the 20+ teachers and staff who were going to be honored for having worked at the Cooper Union for ten years or more. I must have thrown that email out thinking it was more information about the genderless bathrooms or the campus opening times. I had no idea. And now I am very grateful to Stephanie for pointing this out to me. It was a lovely function. Jennifer, just back from Japan was jet-lagged like hell, pale with blue lips and her head between her knees so she won't faint; There was wine, canapés and speeches. Perfect. I am embarrassed for the pride I feel today. I think I am actually going to have this one framed. I love the Cooper Union and all my friends and colleagues there but mostly I adore my very talented, eager and unrelenting students. Thanks to all of you. One love.

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March 2016

Workshop mailing list

permalink: http://www.famira.com#mailing_list

Let me keep you up to date about classes and workshops that I teach and sign up for my mailing list. I will send one out about once or twice a semester.



January 2016

Portrait on the Cooper Union Blog

start: January 15, 2016
permalink: http://www.famira.com#cooper_union_blog

Angela Staria of the Office of Communications wrote a nice piece about me for the Cooper Union Continuing Education blog.

Read more…

May 2015

The Type@Cooper Program turns five

start: May 28, 2015
permalink: http://www.famira.com#coopertype_turns_five

For a brief moment there, I felt ridiculously proud today to be reminded that the Type@Cooper program sort of started as an idea of mine. In the past five years it has grown into an institution in its field. My most sincere and heartfelt congratulations go out to the crew that had the vision, fortitude and dedication to create the program out of thin air. The students of Type@Cooper however have earned its exceptionally good name with their high level of skill, style and love, which is simply evident in the program's body of work.

Read more…

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Work & play

I read something that Milton Glaser allegedly said about his clients also being his friends and I found it to be very true for myself. Most of my clients are indeed friends (or quickly become so). If that shift in the relationship does not happen, it usually signals their limited life expectancy as clients. I love being a collaborator and, as a designer, delivering unique work is very close to opening up as a person. The outcome has proven that my work benefits hugely from the comfortable milieu of trust and friendship.

I studied graphic and typographic design at the KABK (Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague) in the Netherlands. After apprenticeships at Studio Dumbar and the Font Bureau I worked at Meta Design, the Buro Petr van Blokland and House Industries. I started my own design studio Das Kombinat in 1999 and the Kombinat-Typefounders in 2001. Now I am in the process of re-inventing the type foundry part under the new name famiraFonts

To see what I am working on right at this minute you can also check out my Dribbble account. Also it is unfortunate that some of the nicest jobs I have worked on are still protected by non disclosure agreements so I can’t show them. Here are a few pieces however that I can talk about.

For more of my work history please check my bio section…
FamiraFonts
FamiraFonts
Find my retail library of fonts and custom type solutions at www.kombin.at (soon though at www.famiraFonts.com)
© by FamiraFonts
The Helmut Lang Logotype
The Helmut Lang Logotype
Design of the new word mark for an international fashion brand
© by Helmut Lang LLC
In de Knoei
In de Knoei
Typographic concept for a paperback novel by Belgian author Herman Brusselmans.
© by Eprom Organisatie Adviseurs, ’02
Moving card
Moving card
Illustration and custom type for my moving announcement card to NYC in 2005
© by Hannes Famira
Keiko Text
Keiko Text
Upcoming release of a family of typefaces in four optical weights
© by FamiraFonts
48h Neukölln
48h Neukölln
Custom typeface for Berlin's biggest cultural festival in 2013
© by FamiraFonts
GAK Symbols
GAK Symbols
For the Dutch department of labour’s way finding system while at Studio Dumbar.
© by the GAK
Céline
Céline
Custom typeface for a fashion brand commissioned by Studio Peter Miles
© by Céline
Keiko Titling Pro
Keiko Titling Pro
Released with FontShop in '98 the ffBlocker was my first attempt at clean outlines
© by FamiraFonts
 More work soon...
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Clients

In the course of roughly fifteen years of professional practice I have worked for a whole lot of people. Here are some of them as they come to mind and in alphabetical order. I will add some more as I remember (my brain is like a colander, to paraphrase)…
Buro Petr van Blokland, a little bit of quite literally everything Céline, corporate typeface Christian Schwartz, drawing type edenspiekermann_, web design and type tech fsi FontShop International, type tech Fred Smeijers, type design Helmut Lang, type design, logo design Hoefler&Co., type design House Industries, type design Inter Ikea Systems, database publishing Letterror, web design and type tech, also the original icon for TTX Luc(as)Fonts, type design and PR Marc Jacobs, corporate typeface Meta Design, type design Mexx International, interaction design and icons Müller&Hess, custom typeface for du magazine Ontwerpwerk, type customizationsSchrift&Bild: Stulle, type customizations and interaction design Studio Anthon Beeke, custom typeface for Dutch lottery tickets and custom typeface for installation in Tweede Kamer (Dutch parliament) Studio Dumbar, corporate design and work on the Dutch euro coins Studio Peter Miles, custom typefaces océ  Technologies, custom encoded Garamond with old style figures in the times of ResEdit! Theory, type design, logo design THEORY+, type design, logo design Type@Cooper, re-building the program’s website on ExpressionEngine • And many more…

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Teaching

I love teaching. The most important part of which is convincing the students that they are free to be bold and create the most beautiful work they have in them. And then there are the methods and skills of course, the craftsmanship. I have taught various design, typography and type design classes at a number of schools and universities. I started in 2002 at the SfG, Basel School of Design. Since 2011 I have been fortunate to teach at the Type@Cooper Program. Check out my account of the summer class of 2012. For more details about my teaching experience please check my bio section…

Type@Cooper work space panorama 2013 scroll to pan

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Blackboard

Discussing the intricacies of the roman lower case g
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The Grolier Club

A visit to one of New York City's finest rare books collections
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Final presentation

On the last day of the Type@Cooper Condensed program students present their projects. I believe this is Christian V. at the bat.
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Student sketches

Design Space workshop, 2014
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Field trip to Amsterdam

In 2004 I took my Basel class of Typographic Designers on a week in The Netherlands. We visited museums, local design studios, saw the old masters and ate heaps of bitterballen.
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Workshop participants

Workshop: Understanding and Experiencing the Designspace. Every year Jesse Ragan’s Extended students manage to surprise with their level of skill and comprehension.
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Group critique

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The Butler Library

As part of the Type@Cooper Condensed Program we take the students to visit a number of rare books departments. Here we are at Columbia University.
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Poster project

Undergraduate, Typography II
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Group critique wall

Type@Cooper Condensed Program, summer 2013. A review of the first step towards the student's own, original, digital typeface.
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45 vinyl sleeve

Undergrad, Typography II
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Original typeface project

Undergrad, Experimental Typography
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All student work is copyright © by the students who created it or in some cases by the respective schools they were enrolled in.
I have taught individual, private type design classes for beginning and advanced students. I coached students in building their portfolio and served on the committee for student admission.

In Switzerland I was a member of my school's working group that wrote a detailed standard for the creation of the new undergrad Graphic Designer program. I also served as a specialist for new media to the board of the centralized Swiss federal exams and as an examiner for type design and new media on the board for the state exams.

    Names of classes I have taught

  • Typografie und digitale Medien (Typography and Digital Media)
  • Computergrundlagen (Introduction to the Computer)
  • Neue Medien (New Media)
  • Entwerfen I (Design I) co-teaching with Peter Olpe
  • Zeichen, Schrift (the mark, the type)
  • Schriftgestaltung (Type Design)
  • Typography I
  • Typography II
  • Experimental Type
  • Type Design
  • Advanced Design - Type Design
  • Principles of Typeface Design 1: From Pen to Pixel
  • Principles of Typeface Design 2: Beyond the Basics
  • Typedesign and Lettering
  • Introduction to type design: Hand drawn type - The Roman Letterforms
  • Introduction to type design: Hand drawn type - The Italic Letterforms
  • Introduction to Digital Type Design in FontLab Studio v.5
  • Type@Cooper Condensed Program

    Workshops I have taught

  • Type Design Basics – 5 days
  • Understanding and Experiencing the Designspace – 2 days
  • Introduction to Robofont – 1 day
  • Type Design – 1 day
  • Type on Screen – 4 days
  • Grundlagen der Schriftentwicklung (Basics of Typeface Development) – 2 days
  • Von der figürlichen Skizze zur Bildergeschichte (From a Figurative Sketch to a Story in Pictures) – 5 days
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Bio

Since graduating from the Royal Academy in The Hague in 1996 (that was before there was a Type]Media program) I have mostly worked independently. The few times I was employed are still very special experiences to me. I learned a lot, met the nicest people and worked on some pretty cool projects.

Current positions

since 2006

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, School of Art

Adjunct Lecturer: 
  • Principles of Typeface Design 1: From Pen to Pixel
  • Principles of Typeface Design 2: Beyond the Basics
  • Advanced Design - Type Design
  • Experimental Type
  • Typography II
  • Introduction to type design: Hand drawn type - The Roman Letterforms
  • Advanced Design - Type Design
  • Introduction to type design: Hand drawn type - The Italic Letterforms
  • Introduction to Digital Type Design in FontLab Studio v.5
since 2012

Type@Cooper, Condensed Program

Co-teaching in different constellations with Sumner Stone, Just van Rossum, Ewan Clayton and Andy Clymer: In this 5 week long program the students are step-by-step taken from the very basics of type design to completing their own, original typeface.
since 2011

Type@Cooper, Extended Program

Lecturer in the Extended Program: Workshops in the Extended program: "Understanding and Experiencing the Designspace"
since 2007

AiSS, Art in Social Structures

Member of advisory board: Learn more about Art in Social Structures in this lecture by Senam Okudzeto…
since 2000

FamiraFonts

Principal of digital type foundry: FamiraFonts (formerly Kombinat-Typefounders) is a publisher and distributor of digital typefaces. We work with our clients on custom tailored typographic solutions, but we also license the fonts in our exclusive retail library, which are available only from our New York City headquarters and from FamiraFonts.com .

Experience

2002 – 2005

pbs Paritätische Berufsbildungs Synode

Member of the committee for the Swiss federal exam: Specialist for New Media
2003 – 2014

TypEdu.org

Author and Webmaster: The now defunct website TypEdu.org provided a web based reference and a general forum to the students of my type design classes.
2012 – 2013

HAWK FH Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen

Adjunct Lecturer: Typography and Digital Media
2009 – 2012

LucasFonts

Freelance type designer: Drawing type, work on extensive family of MM fonts, making coffee.
1999 – 2011

Das Kombinat

Principal: As my work had become more and more centered around type design and production, which is covered by the Kombinat-Typefounders it was time to fold the graphic design label Das Kombinat back into the foundry. By no means did this mark the end of my personal investment into graphic design, it simply did not require its own label any longer.
2010

FontShop International

Freelance type technician: TrueType hinting for ClearType
2007 – 2008

House Industries

Type Designer
2007 – 2007

CCNY, City College of New York

Adjunct Professor : Typopgraphy I
2006

New Jersey City University, Visual Arts Department

Adjunct Professor: Typedesign and Lettering class
2002 – 2005

SfG, Schule für Gestaltung Basel, Switzerland

Teacher: In the foundation year as well as on the post graduate level and in continued education I taught the following classes:
  • Schriftgestaltung (Type Design)
  • Zeichen, Schrift (Mark and Type)
  • Neue Medien (New Media)
  • Entwerfen I (Design I) co-teaching with Peter Olpe
  • Computergrundlagen (Introduction to the Computer)
In addition to teaching these classes I coached students in building their portfolio and served on the committee for student admission. I also served as a specialist for new media to the board of the Swiss federal exams and as an examiner for type design and new media on the board for the state exams.
1997  – 1999

Buro Petr van Blokland en Claudia Mens

Graphic and Typographic Designer: At the studio located in Delft I took care of the corporate typefaces and logo fonts for some of the major Dutch banks and insurance companies, a strong demand for euro signs and dived head on into database publishing and the mysteries of Robofog.
1997

The Font Bureau Inc.

Type design intern: Picking up some basic drawing and production skills under the watchful eye of Tobias Frere-Jones and David Berlow.
1996

Studio Dumbar

Graphic design intern: Development of a series of pictograms for the way finding system at the Dutch department of labor.

Education

1992 – 1996

KABK, Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague, The Netherlands

Student: BA, Graphic and typographic design
1991 – 1992

SfG, Schule für Gestaltung Basel, Switzerland

Student: Gestalterischer Vorkurs (foundation course)
1989

Freie Universität Berlin

Student: Film and Theater Sciences
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Bibliography

Over the years my work has been in a number of publications. I am trying to keep an up-to-date list of it here. Please let me know if you spot anything that should be added to this.

Slanted Magazine

Slanted Magazine

The Art Type issue presents international artists who use and examine type and language in their work. My interview was conducted by Wolfgang Wick of Buero MAGENTA. You can read the interview here…
«Type should be fun»
MAGMA Brand Design, Dec. 2013, vol. 22,
Type Navigator

Type Navigator

This Independent Foundries Handbook introduces 20 small, and very small type foundries, among them my outfit, the Kombinat-Typefounders.
Jan Middendorp and TwoPoints.Net
Die Gestalten, 2011, 320 pp, in English language
Made with FontFont

Made with FontFont

“Made with FontFont” is a companion to “FiFFteen”, an exhibition celebrating FontFont and FUSE. Edited by Erik Spiekermann and Jan Middendorp, it showcases the history and influence of the award-winning foundry with real-world examples of FontFonts in use. Featured here is my typeface the ffBlocker.
Jan Middendorp and Erik Spiekermann
Mark Batty Publisher, 2007, 352 pp, in English language
e (FontShop magazine #11)

e (FontShop magazine #11)

This special edition of the FontShop magazine was published to the occasion of Erik Spiekerman being awarded the third Gerrid Noorzij price on February 18, 2006. The book contains contribution and dedications by numerous Dutch designers and friends showcasing a brief history of Erik's work and his influence on the contemporary type design scene. Presented here is my typeface ffBlocker.
Jan Willem Stas and students of the Type]Media program at the KABK
FontShop Benelux, 2006, vol. 11, 96 pp, in English language
Ha daar gaat er een van mij

Ha daar gaat er een van mij

The title translates to “Hey, there goes one of mine!” — This is a book about design in the Hague/Netherlands from 1945-2000. Presented here is my typeface ffBlocker.
Author Jan Middendorp, design Huug Schipper
010 Publishers, 2002, 304 pp, in Dutch language
Zwiebelfisch

Zwiebelfisch

My interview was conducted via email by Emanuela Fechete.
Created by the students of Freie Hochschule für Grafik Design und Bildende Kunst in Freiburg, Germany. Read the interview here…
Jos Fritz Verlag Freiburg , 2003, 80 pp, in English language
Schriften österreichischer Designer

Schriften österreichischer Designer

The title translates to “Typefaces of Austrian Designers” — An irregularly published, loose leaf newsletter, showcasing Austrian type designers. This issue was dedicated to my super family of typefaces, called Interpol.

Design Austria (the Society of Austrian Graphic Designers), 1998, vol. 5, 6 pp, in German language
Haagse Letters

Haagse Letters

The title translates to “Letters from The Hague” — "InterPol" and "InterSerif", early versions of the typeface family Interpol Serif and Interpol Sans were published in the book Haagse Letters.
Author Mathieu Lommen, design Peter Verheul
Buitenkant, 1996, 72 pp, in Dutch language
KABK Eindexamenboek

KABK Eindexamenboek

The title translates to “KABK Degree Show Book” — Every year the Royal Academy of Fine Arts produces a book featuring student work, one graduate per page. Typefaces presented here are Interpol Serif and Interpol Sans.
Studio Matzwart, Paulina Matusiak and Carrie Zwarts
KABK, 1996, , in Dutch language
con form

con form

In 1996 the KABK, Royal Academy of Fine Arts hosted the annual ATypI conference in Den Haag. To that occasion it published this book, showcasing the state of type design education at the Royal Academy. Typefaces presented here are ffMutilated, Interpol Serif and Interpol Sans.
David van der Wij, Jesse Skolnik, Bas Smidt and Paul van der Laan
KABK, 1996, 32 pp, in English language
Sluitzegels voor Tuberculose Bestrijding

Sluitzegels voor Tuberculose Bestrijding

The title translates to “Sealing Stamps for Fighting Tuberculosis” — Catalog of the second design contest held by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in cooperation the Royal Dutch Tuberculosis Foundation for the design of the annual sealing stamp. Winning designs by Maaike Janssen and Hannes Famira.
Studio Matzwart, Paulina Matusiak
KABK and KNCV, 1994, 48 pp, in Dutch language
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Articles

Some stray old texts about this and that. Also check out my contributions on Quora.com. If you are interested in anything in particular or have a question please just drop me a note…
09-2015

The infinite design space interview

In the late summer of 2015 Thomas Jockin, the designer of the typeface Azote and the initiator of TypeThursday in New York visited me to conduct the following interview. It was first published on Medium and is here re-posted with gracious permission.
read the rest after the fold…
09-2015

How we read letters by Denis Pelli

The (Web)fontday is a conference for designers of digital media as well as for front-end and mobile developers. Here is the talk of psychophysicist Denis Pelli, Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at NYU. In his talk «How We Read Letters» he explains in plain language his amazing legibility research and mentions some of the work we collaborated on.
read the rest after the fold…
03-2015

The complex task of the serif

What are serifs good for, why do some typefaces need them and others don't? This question addresses one of the fundamentals of type design, the function of the serif in the context of contrast. Understanding this issue is much easier when explaining it from the vantage point of calligraphy but for all of us non-calligraphers, here is an explanation that tackles it from a purely empirical perspective.
read the rest after the fold…
05-2014

Resources for getting started with Robofont

When getting started working with the type design application Robofont I recommend to check out the links and downloads that I compiled below. This is a list that I prepared for my students but I think anyone new to Robofont might find some of these basic pointers useful. Please don't hesitate to suggest changes or additions. And now have fun…
read the rest after the fold…
08-2013

Interview in Slanted Magazine #22

Wolfgang Wick of Buero MAGENTA conducted this interview for Slanted magazine by email in the summer of 2013. This issue runs under the title Art Type and presents international artists who examine type and language in their work. Featured are also a number of essays and interviews that focus on the intersection of art, design and typography.
read the rest after the fold…
02-2003

Zwiebelfisch interview

This interview was conducted via email by Emanuela Fechte for Zwiebelfisch, a German design magazine created by the students of the Freie Hochschule für Grafik Design und Bildende Kunst in Freiburg, Germany.
read the rest after the fold…
05-2000

Interview by A.Calahan

In 2000 Anthony Calahan visited The Netherlands in order to conduct research for his PHD and to talk to local type designers. While this interview with Paul van der Laan and myself is clearly very dated and we were just out of art school, I find it interesting how much has changed not least of all the landscape of the type foundries.
read the rest after the fold…
09-1997

A new glyph for the European currency

When the new, unified European currency was first introduced type designers all over the world scrambled to get their hands on workable character design standards and ways to technically implement the euro into the very limiting font technology existing at the time. This is a blog post I wrote in ’97, during that first wave when type designers basically invented the design principles of the euro on the basis of the meager and in part just plain faulty information that was publicly available then.
read the rest after the fold…
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 up
Typefaces used on this site are Interpol Sans and Interpol Serif.
All web fonts, served using the @font-face rule are provided by FamiraFonts.
Except where noted differently all contents is copyright © 2016 by Hannes F. Famira. All rights reserved.
Logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners and do not constitute an association, affiliation or relationship with the entities in any way.
Last updated on Sunday, July 10, 2016.
For more information, please send mail to hannes@famira.com.
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