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More fonts by Martin Aleith
Design collective Pfadfinderei (in English, “pathfinde… read more
Design collective Pfadfinderei (in English, “pathfinders” or “home of the scouts”) formed in 1998 and creates visual marketing tools as well handles the realization of events. We offer a full range of design services answering to functional design demands and provide advanced multimedia art. Pfadfinderei is now structured into three main divisions: Corporate Design, Production and Installation.
What is your direction in graphic design? How would you characterize your style?
I think I’m a natural drawer from birth. And since I spend a lot of time drawing, I think I just have a good sense and know how things should. It’s probably this ability that gives my graphic design the expression that it has.
Where’s your office?
Berlin, on the Spree River
Can you give us a short description about your font?
Knochen is German for bone. Knochen™ comes in two weights: regular and plain. One is the skeleton and the other is the skin. You can compare the formal nature of this font to a Swiss Army knife. There is a predetermined section, whose multiple copies can be unfolded at certain joints. However, with only this dogma, Knochen™ as it exists now, is not possible. In a smart way, I had to fracture the system from within. In the end, all the characters had to follow a familiar understanding of type. I wanted to create letters that are not only memorized but can be recognized as such. This is what's remarkable about this font – its constructed figurativeness.
Admittedly, it has to compete with a multitude of similar attempts, but it offers a sophisticated solution.
Why did you design this font?
It was a spontaneous start. I was first inspired by the film production company TAXI – their logo, of course. Even though my source of inspiration already offered me with two completed characters, there were still some problems to solve and solutions to look for. Only when I came up with the name Knochen, did the whole project seem to make sense. I worked on the ‘anatomy’ of the typeface. Long live radiology!
What is the ideal usage of your font?
In German, I like to say: “Die Knochen ist keine Fraktur!” It's impossible to translate it accurately, as it is a pun, but it works in a similar way as BIG BALLS by AC/DC. What I really want to say is: I'd love to be shocked by an ideal usage.
I personally use it as a basis for type designs and logos, or writing big headlines with it. It's also interesting to use it in an architectural way, adding three-dimensionality to the characters. I also think, that the numbers have a lot of personality, so they can create a typical function as well.
Do you design your fonts by hand, or directly on the computer?
I usually start sketching by hand, just to remember what I was going to do, and to build up a repertoire of shapes that I might want to use. Everything else happens going back and forth between computer and printouts, where I mostly do my corrections.
Does developing a typeface start with the character (the individual letter) or are there intermediate stages in which a kind of rhythm develops?
Sometimes the raw overall scheme is the first thing, and then the individual letter shapes slowly evolve out of context. Or there’s an idea for one character, and then I just have to find out, if it would work in a complete font.
Can you explain what makes you choose a typeface? Or which typefaces catch your eye as something special?
Exotic and humble workers, if those can be found as characters, they are my boys.
What fonts still have to be drawn?
Sometimes making a new font seems like asking for a glass of water while swimming in a lake. But I am not a nihilist and drinking Evian in a dirt pool always seems like the better choice.
Your future plans?
I’m only 29!