Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Faberfonts - Q&A with Béla Frank

Typography enthusiast and founder of Faberfonts, Béla Frank shares with us his inspirations and the secrets behind his professional practise.

Tell us about Faberfonts:

The foundry started on 6th of January last year with the release of its first retail font: FR Unalom. The first year was an excellent one - works featured on design blogs and fonts distributed through various dedicated sites (such as Identifont, MyFonts, and TypographyServed). The foundry's mission is to produce high-quality fonts for fine & professional typographic projects. In addition I hope to enhance and inspire the Hungarian type design scene to help it grow and improve. I would love to see many more people drawing typefaces and taking an interest in quality typography.

What kind of typefaces do you create? 

The kind I find interesting -  display and fancy fonts, conceptual fonts, pattern fonts, text fonts - basically all kinds and styles. Text fonts are the real challenges and adventures!
What processes do you go through to produce your fonts?

I begin with sketching a good deal with no care or real intention. By doodling, many ideas come to my mind. Sometimes I start in Fontlab without preliminary studies but these projects always need much more re-drawing and sometimes re-defining. I usually start with the lower & uppercase letters, only the 26 main characters and do a lot of testing with dummy texts. If it works well then I proceed to the numerals, analphabetics & punctuation - all the details that play a great deal in defining a typeface. 

For text typeface’s I do a lot of hard-proofs along the way. On paper you can always see the problems - on screen it demands some practice. Also, I care a lot about spacing & kerning - I love to kern - I'm almost ashamed of it! In the end I add all the characters for Latin Extended A tables, prepare the families, make some promotional material, release it - and wait.

Tell us about your Letter a Day project

When I was working on FR Hopper - a complex project which took up a great deal of time and attention - 
I decided to do something else beside it. Nothing long lasting or serious, just something I enjoy the most - sketching letters. The project has been growing and now there is almost 6 months’ worth of letters. The project seems to take care of itself - so to say - it is living. 

Who has been your biggest influence?

Type designers, definitely - not in person usually, but the works, the solutions. The list is ever-changing but for now it is Hoefler & Frere Jones and Jean François PorchezFrantišek Štorm and certain fonts (not designers) are who I follow closely & regularly.

If you could be a font, which font would you be and why?

Today I feel like Stilla - bold, detailed & dynamic. However, in the longer term I would like to be something other than that - a good font for long texts & titles - a member of a family. 

Visit the official Faberfonts Foundry website HERE
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