WHAT THE FONT?
Every two weeks, the Art Directors at TBWAHuntLascaris - Johannesburg get together
to inspire one another. During one of these sessions, a challenge was put forward.
Design your own typeface or font. And three weeks later, these were the results.
WHAT THE FONT? volume one. Enjoy.
Name: Choc Star
Designer: Justin Wright
Combining Freud’s views on anal retentiveness
and the Egyptians beliefs that cats are gods,
we naturally arrived at the Chocolate Starﬁsh
font. It’s natural versatility made it perfect for
thin italic, textured, bold and bitmapped...
allowing the user to achieve more expression
in their chosen media.
Even with the controversial banning in some
parts of Germany, we believe it’s a font for all
to use – the font for the modern family.
Designer: Jacque Moodley
The love of Puns
and Alfa Romeos
Title: White on white
Designer: Bruce Harris
(with the loving help of Jason Murison)
There isn’t any crazy concept here so stop
looking. All I wanted to do was design
a typeface that I thought was nice and
would be proud to show my mother, so I
showed her last night and she loved it.
It also helps that white is my favourite
colour and I like to punish myself by
sitting for hours on end in the studio and
on photoshop. Hope you like it.
Title: “Recycle Bitches”
Designer: Coenraad Grebe
This particular font is based around the
thought that everything should be recycled
/ re-used / re-appropiated / re-looked /
re-engineered. Also it serves as a call to
action and a rally cry of sorts. This served
as my inspiration to re-look existing fonts
(both designer and common), with the intent
of borrowing, stealing and mashing them
up to create something new, if not original.
So, thanks to Helvetica, Gill Sans, Times,
Rockwell and M/M Paris for allowing me
(not intentionally) to rally the troops.
Title: Zip It
Designer: Erika Spethmann
The client in reception who
forgot to pull up his zip…
I saw an ‘O’…
and the rest just followed.
Title: Clip Art
Designer: Graeme van Jaarsveld
Working in an ofﬁce environment
I wanted to create a font that
related to that, and that had a
different touch to the normal bland
kind of look. The look I went for
was almost that of a darkroom/
photographic kind of look.
Title: Pins and Needles
Designer: Ilze Venter
My inspiration was the creation of
something new out of bits and pieces of
fabric, scraps and anything I could ﬁnd in
my cupboards. When people talk they cut,
add, pin and mix words together to make
a sentence. It reﬂects my love for making
things by hand.
In the light of the festivities and all
the parties in and around the agency
I found it ﬁt to do a Disco font. Using
the mirror ball as my main inspiration,
(taking me back to my bedroom DJ days)
I created a font which represents a bit of
my past. So being the party animal that I
am it just seemed like a perfect ﬁt.
I’m a 80’s baby after all. Lol.
Designer: Shelley & Nadja
To show the love-affair women have
with shoes, we turned it into a typeface.
Title: A Type of Font
Designer: Jens Henkel
A font made up of a continuous story.
Each letter leading onto the next.
A type making up a type,
while telling a story.
Title: Desktop Font
Designer: Adam Weber
This typeface is inspired by the
patterns and shapes made by folders
and ﬁles that clutter our mac desktops.
It is based on the Din font family and
was created using photoshop,
screen savers and command-shift-3.
Title: Eat Your Words
Designer: Jodi Smith & Laura Grobler
Say what you mean or
eat what you say!
Designer: Kerry Moralee
My goal whilst creating the 6mm font was
to turn completely unaesthetic items such
as 6mm nuts and varied 6mm bolts into
elegant letters making up a font without
messing with their original form. So what
you’re seeing is a font made from only
6mm bolts and nuts, that you ﬁnd at
any hardware store, assembled without
perversion of their true form into a font.
Designer: Kursten Meyer
I pin up all my ideas, layouts,
inspiration, references and scamps
on my pin board.
It’s something I use every day
and therefore was the inspiration
behind my font.
Designer: Lucas & Sarel
The font was inspired
by a lady we saw
hanging clothes onto the
washing line using pegs.
Name: “Marv. The Font”
Designer: Marvin Zwambila
Inspired by my character in terms of the
properties a wire holds. For starters it can be
bent to make almost any shape, can handle
electricity and of course is straight and hard.
Because of these properties wire is often stolen
off fences, train cables and other areas. So wire
is an essential part of our society, just like me.
P Apologies to the passenger trains that
ran late. Find solace in knowing the wire
was used to uplift a poor individual.
Designer: Melanie Moore
My font went through many stages
before reaching the ﬁnal idea.
It was inspired by naughty boys
who take the warning label on deodorant
cans as an instruction manual for fun.
Designer: Natalie le Roux
This typeface was inspired by CMYK and photography. CMYK
is a layered printing process, which uses four inks (Cyan,
Magenta, Yellow and Black) to create realistic images onto
a 2D paper surface. Photography is a way of capturing and
representing reality on a 2D surface. I have included some of
my cameras and the overlapping CMYK effect on the board
to depict the inspiration.
Technically, the font is designed by layering CMYK strips
across each other to form characters. Because all three
C, M and Y never intersect with each other to create black,
I have placed black and grey photographs behind them,
to give some sense of light and depth to the typeface.
The photographs used are some of my own and some of my
favourites. Another element of the typeface is the use
of right triangles, which have been sliced off on one strip and
replaced somewhere else on each character to add some
interest and form serifs and geometric curves.
Name: My Wire Blocks
Designer: Pieter Steyn
This font is based on the 6 fonts most commonly
used by us in the agency including Arial, Futura
and Myriad and Trebuchet. I used a 3D effect in
Illustrator, and made the wire/block shapes. Later
in InDesign I factorised the letters. I only used the
block Capitals as they represent the building and
construction TBWA is undergoing at the new
building, as well as the indifference between the
nation, there should be no difference between upper
and lower case or class (in an absolute world).
Name: Rock Art
Disrupting rock art into a font...
Why because the khoi people used rock
art to communicate and tell stories,
so I designed rock art font for people
to use and communicate and tell
Name: Dirty Words
Designer: Thereza Grala
All the things a person says during
their day that they wish they’d never said.
Designer: Shelley, Nadja & Raff
Inspired by moving into a building
that’s half-complete and the
scaffolding that surrounds us.
Name: 1810 Extra Bold
Designer: Michael Muller
As creatives we spend many hours brainstorming, writing and crafting thoughts and ideas
so that they hopefully come to fruition and ultimately a crescendo of inner satisfaction.
Most of these ideas start out as scamps and thoughts scribed by the hand of the creative
in bursts of optimism – the belief you could have possibly cracked something that will make
your CD smile and your peers green with envy.
This very handwriting, that is the beginning of the physical formation of ideas is as unique to
everyone as our ﬁngerprints and through analysis can very accurately reveal who we are.
And who we are is predominantly a combination of life experience.
That being said, life experience and the ﬁngerprint it leaves in the form of handwriting
coupled with the love of my work are the inspiration for my typeface
1810 Extra Bold.
The brown paper element represents the reams of paper that I consume trying to crack ideas
and the typeface is an adaption of my handwriting. The name 1810 Extra Bold is made up
of two parts, my birthday – 18 October and the Extra Bold is a reﬂection of my personality.
Designer: Wihan Meerholz
All the best memories and most classic times
are kept on the most classic thing, video tapes.
They tell a story and could even spell things out for us.
Name: Semiotic Typeface
Designer: Katleho Mofolo
My typeface is inspired by contours, semiotics1 human signs and
contortionists. Everyday we consciously and subconsciously see signs
wherever we go, in and around cities and towns, on trafﬁc lights, toilets,
gates etc. These street signs or signs are visuals read as text subliminally
and help communicate a range of commands, warnings, clues and
sometimes indicate future change. Everyone succumbs to these signs
and whenever one deﬁes them danger occurs e.g. accidents. I see them
as fascinating signage because even illiterate people can understand
what they convey unlike the ordinary code of plain wording. I ﬁnd the
shapes that contortionists transform themselves into when performing
as extraordinary exhibitions to demonstrate human body capability.
I think contortionists literally prove that limits are only as real as the
mind comprehends them to be. The forms and shapes that they turn
themselves into physically articulate man power in a different dimension
of body art, and through the contorting of the their bodies I perceive
art. I decided to name my typeface SEMIOTIC because of the study of
semiotics which explains the importance of sign conventions and sign
theory to mankind. I believe the study of symbols, codes, indexes, signs
and signiﬁers assists to simplify communication for better understanding
about different or foreign behavioral patterns.