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Jancso who always liked to build, carve wood, and draw since childhood, has grown up to be a real type addict and devotes his time to meticulously drawing and designing letters.
"I'm a freelance designer dealing with graphic and type design. I like to play and experiment, a bit like an explorer or scientist in the visual world. Letters are close to my heart, so most of my time is spent on calligraphy, lettering and various type related projects. I'm fascinated by visual languages of the cultures of the world and their writing systems and how these can be mixed with modern and clean styles."
More fonts by Aron Jancso
Qalto is intended to be a musical typeface.… read more
Qalto is intended to be a musical typeface. The initial idea was to achieve strong visual rhythm. Regular faces are built on a baseline and an even height. I wanted something that is more interesting and decided to go with a middle line and a grid. This way the letters can be positioned freely, giving the text a vertical rhythm. High contrast is something I always loved. The thin hairlines sound like high tones and the big blocks like the bass. There is a lot of negative space to allow room for the rhythm. Some glyphs are made of just hairlines to break up the heavy shapes.
Since you are member of our foundry, we can easily follow and compare you fresh styles of contemporary typography. What we can see so far is a very definite and unique style in the creation of your past font releases. Would you agree that Qalto builds on and is connected to your prior typefaces or does it rather venture in a new direction?
I chose a geometric style to keep it simple and elegant. It's a modular design with basic shapes in different sizes: circles, half and quarter circles, triangles, and parallelograms. The hairlines are made of straights and circle sections. The meeting point of the blocks and hairlines needed some kind of transition to serve as a connection, which is why I chose to round the negative spaces with a radius somewhere between the scale of the lines and the blocks. This resulted in an even more interesting visual with three layers of basic elements: the lines, the blocks and the connecting elements, all having different rhythm and still being connected at the same time.
Did you face any major difficulties during the design process?
Regarding the shape of the glyphs, the final touch was to take care of optical issues. Perfect geometry is always to rigid, so I made smooth transitions where a circle continues with a straight line to have more natural curvature without ruining the geometric feel of the design.
Can you give us some insight into the process of designing your alphabets?
My process involves making layouts while the font design is still in progress. So after the first few letters I try to make words, compose posters and other applications. This helps a lot to see how it works, find early problems and to get new ideas on developing it further. When a poster is ready I usually upload it to flickr and facebook, so I get feedback on it. It's motivating and helpful to see if others like it or not. The style is mostly experimental and involves type treatments, so the results are expressive and colorful, serving also as advertising for the typeface. And there are even more benefits like learning about composition, colors and shape languages whilst playing around.
Can you reveal why you came up with such a lovely wide range of variations per glyph?
And what’s the concept behind those four weights?
When the concept started to become a useable font I realized some words had good rhythm and others didn’t, so I added stylistic alternatives, to give more freedom to the users to compose their words. For every letter there is a lowercase and uppercase version and one corresponding alternate for both, resulting in four different designs. If that’s not enough, there are four different weights, so you can use different sizes with the same hairline thickness. We have 16 alternatives so far, plus the ability to break apart and reposition letters. So there are many ways to compose words. One can even manipulate the lengths of each element due to its simple modular design. You can have a really wide 'E' or a tall 'I' for example.
Finally, what was the main purpose for designing Qalto?
I had no intentions to make a widely useable typeface, rather to conduct a unique and interesting experiment, but I think it could fit quite well to parts of the music and fashion industry. Due to its contrast, it's really only suited for short texts like logos, headlines, titles, posters and slogans.