Hello Mateo! Please introduce yourself.
Hi, I am Mateo Broillet, I am from French Switzerland and I am currently based in Amsterdam for almost three years now. I just graduated from the Sandberg Instituut with a Master of Arts in Fine arts and Design. I previously worked during a few years and did my BA at ECAL in Lausanne, also Switzerland.
How, when and why did you start working in the type design field?
I would say that I am perhaps a bit more a graphic designer involved in typography than a type designer. I am still pretty much interested in editorial concepts and in the overall graphic design thingy. My first contact with type design was during the mandatory courses that we’ve all had at Ecal in Lausanne, during my bachelor education in graphic design. To be honest, I didn’t really catch on at the time with the way type was taught (I was also quite terrible). I slowly started to implement more typography - working solely with type - on my editorial projects there during the third and last year and specially after graduating.
During my internship at onlab and even more at Studio Joost Grootens in Amsterdam, I got to touch a bit more on type itself, but the real kickstarter has been the start of my studies at the Sandberg Instituut. In fact, the possibility to work for the school as a graphic designer and the structure of the MA left me with plenty of time to spend on something as time-consuming as typography.
What did your first selfmade typeface look like?
My first serious fully self-made typeface is “Hermance” made during my free-time while at Studio Joost Grootens in 2015. This type project was a kind of mash-up of Grecian style typefaces from the late 19th century and a quite clear reference to 60s-70s Dutch modernism.
How and why did you approach designing your typeface Nero? How do you see it’s use by others?
Nero is at the beginning an attempt to have an alternative typeface to the (in)famous Adobe font Trajan, strangely widely used in the western political spectrum. While speaking with the tutors at the Sandberg Instituut, we found quite interesting to analyse what is the current affect of the supplied Microsoft/Apple fonts. Since I was at that time designing a micro-edited pamphlet about the possibility of creating a trade union for graphic designers, I found interesting to use this sort of Trajan alternate for it. I then have slowly integrated the lower case letters, but I am still not very happy with it.
However, with the 30x different versions of it, Nero was a wonderful tool for me to learn a bit more about type. And the use of its condensed version, the most used version of it - inspired by Pompeii graffitis - has still a lot of “type potential” I think.
Typography/Type Design is a pretty male dominated topic. Why do you think that is and do you see a change in our generation?
This is really an issue: I don’t really have precise numbers but globally speaking you have now a certain gender equality regarding people studying type. Yet, you’ve mostly hearing of Latin-based male type designer and this is still somehow a problem.
Which song would you like to translate into a typeface? What would that look like?
Difficult question. I am sort of a big fan of Hi-Nrg and I would design an extremely Bold Extended Grostesque font for Shake It Up by Divine!
How do you feel about the ongoing type design trend and the democratization of type design?
At the end, I would say it is pretty much a good thing. Quite simple programs like Glyphs can allow you to practice type easily, without too much prior knowledge of typography, for example when you are starting your graphic design education. On the other hand, the democratization of type design can lead to over-present copypasta aesthetics and for sure a certain manierism pushed by the “fear of missing out”, notably on Instagram. The real threat is more for people trying to get a living from type design: how many type designers can the market accept? At the end, I sincerely hope that the quality will still prevail. Nonetheless, because making and selling a good typeface is quite hard at the end, I don’t think that what happened to the photojournalism sector for example will happen anytime soon to the type design industry.
Whats you favorite typeface at the moment?
I couldn’t name one but I must say I am really impressed by the endless possibilities of the open-source tool made by my former classmate Heikki Lotvonen. http://www.glyphdrawing.club/