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STD contains of the Western Latin Character Set.
More fonts by Martin Aleith
There have been earlier versions of Galotta which differ from the final one. Which characteristics did you
There have been earlier versions of Galotta which differ from the final one. Which characteristics did you find important to keep, and which needed further development?
Almost eight years of inactive hibernation passed between birth and completion of the font. The data was stored—vacuum-packed—not far from Trabrennbahn Berlin-Mariendorf [a horse racetrack]. During that time, I didn't think about Galotta; she was gone. The early work merely comprised lower-case letters and a few ugly numbers. What endured stylistically is the fat stem, the small hook, the significant counter, and the vertical spine inclination of many characters. These standards make up the font's face. All further new elements are only indebted to typographic legalities whose use and necessity I did not yet realize ten years ago.
Your visual language and use of shape has a distinct rhythm, composed of convenient elements and unusual elements that break this rhythm and appear to be different. Do you have a personal creative formula which describes this principle?
The principle is: Get into the system, and stir it up from within. To me, as a designer, many letters are formal copies of their alphabetical precursors. The deeper I dig into the alphabet, the more rigid the system becomes, which soon makes designing laborious. At this stage—with all the imaginary working hours in tow—I can hardly move, possibly not even make a cup of coffee. But with reason, milk, and sugar, one can once again build momentum from within the system.
Did a basic form exist to which you could trace back all characters, or is it more of an interplay of various single elements brought together, somehow reminiscent of a modular assembly system?
As I said, the first steps towards the font already date back several years. I think it was a sunny day, and a car had blocked the tram rails outside the office. The tram was ringing its bell impatiently, in order to continue its journey and carry passengers to Oranienburger Tor [a central spot in Berlin-Mitte]. In the meantime, I was drawing the lower-case letters "n" and "o," of which I could then derive all further characters.
Did you design Galotta for a certain application, for example a label corporate identity, a music project, or a special customer—or was it a self-initiated project?
It's beyond belief, but I remember this perfectly clearly as well! I arrived at the decision to create Galotta completely unshackled...
Do you have a lot of creative space for your design? How do you keep an open mind and stay flexible when it comes to your work?
I am pretty strict with the few possibilities I concede to my work. Mostly, I know far too fast what I want, that is to say what everything has to look like. A form of overzealousness which is not very open or flexible, running into the open knife of FontLab. Luckily, my life is not entirely made up of drawing letters, so daily life provides detachment.
Looking at Galotta, those nice old Italian coffee machines come to mind. One of their letterings could be set in Galotta type. What are your connotations?
Sure, that was my first association too. Boiling hot water pushed with eight bar of pressure through the coffee, culminating in Italian crema. This can't be denied. Surely, it is also one reason for naming it Galotta. But I can also imagine pushing frankfurters or Nürnberger Pfefferkuchen [gingerbread-like Christmas treats] through a Bialetti Moka Express. By now, I am pretty open when it comes to the application or utility of the font!