What lies Beneath – A Typography talk by Dalton Maag


This event was organised by our course programme director David Wrenne and was one of the best talks that I have been to in recent months. The talk was given by Bruno Maag, Dalton Maag founder and their creative director Tom Foley. They gave an sharp and really interesting insight into the way that they create their fonts. From history of typography to the science behind us reading it, all of which has given myself a whole new outlook on typography and the extensive process behind the scenes of the finished fonts that we see around us today.

It was interesting to learn that a bespoke typeface can take upto an incredible 4 years to perfect. There was me thinking that it was a fairly simple process! But when they stated talking about looking at the Chinese language which has 27500 different character types you start to understand the time scale and I hadn’t even considered the different variations and then more language options thats needed to be designed when developing. Let alone then having to take into account how to over come the issue of massive data amounts that would be needed. There is a clever development of open type code, that helps cut a bit of time, which allows the font files to behave smartly by controlling and making up the placement of the pixels – cutting down on the amount of megabytes needed to be processed. Clever stuff.

The whole talk was full of positive energy and I don’t think that I have ever witnessed someone as passionate about typography before seeing Bruno and Tom, it was admirable,  and you could see that they both immensely took much delight from what they do, and rightly so. They have completed some amazing work with the likes of Lush and Nokia, taking us through to the final release of their typeface and the hurdles that they had to overcome, such as appealability on a global basis and how it reacts to different interfaces. It is mind blowing the amount of work that goes into font design.

We were given little typography goodie packs at the end of the talk which enclosed four typefaces that they have developed. Funny enough we had started using the Objectiv font for our animation project prior to going to this talk. All the fonts  can be downloaded from their website https://www.daltonmaag.com/library

I left the talk with a lot more knowledge and understanding  of developing a typeface, aswell as smile on my face with the vision of Bruno Maag shouting BOOM across the auditorium.




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