Hello Sascha! Please introduce yourself.
I am Sascha Bente, graphic designer living and working in Berlin. After graduating in visual communication from FH Hannover I started my own design practice in late 2012. Besides I am co-founder of a small menswear label called Adequate Archive and co-publisher of a magazine called ROM (which will be released in June ’18).
How, when and why did you start working in the type design field?
Letters initially made me develop an interest in graphic design I guess. I still remember being thirteen and seeing a calligraphic graffiti-lettering inside a CD booklet for the first time. Even though it sounds somehow romanticized, I consider this moment to be a tipping point of my relation to typography. I started to draw letters quite early but never really professionalized the design-process. So I actually 'work' in this field for maybe two years now.
What did your first selfmade typeface look like?
During my studies in 2011 I developed a non-titled uppercase-only typeface for a project treating psychedelic drug aesthetics. My intention was to use kind of a wavey decorative yet still geometrically shaped typeface. Well, like most first steps, it’s not something I am proud of, but here it is 🙂
How and why did you approach designing your typeface Azurro and what’s the deal the Utopia cut?
Azzurro was a holiday thing. During a vacation in the hills around Lago Di Como, I startet to draw a serif typeface with exaggerated proportions on paper because I liked all the Italian stone engraved Antiqua signs. When it came to the process of digitalization I realized quite fast that my letters wouldn’t work at all – even as a display face. So I decided to use the capitals I already had as a basis for a more readable serif font – but I kept the name.
The Utopia can be seen as a step back. I tried to shape a more lightweight cut for display use containing the exaggerated shapes of my initial draft. After playing around for a while, the Utopia cut was born.
Typography/Type Design is a pretty male dominated topic. Why do you think that is and do you see a change in our generation?
Pretty extensive topic to talk about. My opinion in short is that male domination starts much earlier and is an allover occurring societal problem. And since design always works in context of society, this inequality appears in many cultural fields – only in different scales. I don’t really know what a final solution could be here, but I guess proper education could be a start.
Which song would you like to translate into a typeface? What would that look like?
"Slice me nice“ by Fancy I would say. Cause to be honest, I really have a thing for cheezy Italo Disco Songs and Pop culture references of the 1980s. Could be a self drawn grotesk font on a Trattoria sign or menu-display or something.
How do you feel about the ongoing type design trend and the democratization of type design?
I feel somehow glad because I consider myself a part of it. With all the new software, tools and channels evolved, I rediscovered my enthusiasm in typography and felt encouraged to focus on letters again. Furthermore I like the new easiness coming with a certain social media typemovement. Before, I experienced type design to be a very serious and accurate profession, but now you see some funk, naivety or even humor from time to time.
Whats you favorite typeface at the moment?
At the moment I kinda have a thing for the light cut of the Condensed ITC Garamond.