On the surface, it seems as if fonts are of little consequence; they’re simply vehicles for the greater goal: to transmit information. This understanding though, ignores the fact that typefaces communicate more than the words they carry, but with them an attitude – of strength, of pride, of wittiness. Perhaps no two people understand this better than Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones of H+FJ, winners of the 2013 AIGA Medal. At first reluctant heroes of font design, Hoefler and Frere-Jones have gone on to design for everyone from President Obama to The Wall Street Journal, effectively playing as key a role in their successes as marketing or other departments. What’s more, the pair (though presently undergoing a split) have a deep passion for their jobs, and can see purpose in their work beyond the present generation. The fascinating mini-documentary above explores both designers’ approach to font design, what got them started, and what keeps them going.
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