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Foundry Focus

Five Questions with Marconi Lima

September 18, 2017 by
FontShop Team
FontShop Team

We caught up Marconi Lima, founder of Typefolio and highly experienced Graphic Designer and Art Director, last week to find out about his design process and what he enjoys outside the world of letters.

Can you talk us through your design process? Where does your inspiration come from? And how do you approach a new typeface design?

Marconi In the initial stage of creation, I define a simple briefing and some reflections, which can come as a personal vision about the type I am beginning to develop. Sometimes I record the process in sketchbooks that also help me in organizing the flow of a work that is not linear.

I have a huge collection of printed type specimens, some books, pictures and many sketches with letters that I consider important on giving some personality to a font. However, looking with curiosity and without judgment what is around me has been quite inspiring. It is likely that all this material will never serve to develop a specific typeface, but certainly, it will be useful to develop my sensitivity to typographic forms.

My favorite types are those for reading in text bodies. This predilection has guided my efforts, research and production since the creation of my first commercially-published font - Adriane Text. I believe that a less rigid approach to type design is an opportunity to be able to move more freely between different styles of type. In that sense, my most recent personal challenge is to try to create a text font where I can break some standards in the most creative and conscious way possible.

Who would be a dream client to design a typeface for?

Marconi A printed newspaper, no doubt. I believe that it is the sort of vehicle in which a context can be found as to explore the many possibilities of designing a typeface, from the use of the typeface in captions, texts, subtitles, titles, to mention some examples.

Outside of the world of type, letters and language what excites you?

Marconi It's a huge question! But I can say that I discover new ways of withdrawing from the hard (albeit very pleasurable) task of working long hours in front of a monitor in the micro-universe of the details of each letter. I love running through the streets of the city where I live, and eventually, on asphalt and trail runs. At some point when running long distances, I realize that I am thinking about one aspect of some project I am working on, or I see something that can serve as a reference for the future. So typography is almost a lifestyle and not just a job!

What would be your advice to someone starting out in the type design industry?

Marconi Find out what typographers have done in the past. After all, all the established rules - and that remain valid to this day - were the result of the hard, long and brilliant work of the first type designers, along with the punch cutters. There is a huge amount of material available for research.

Drawing constantly on the font-editing program and on paper are different experiences and at the same time complementary to the refinement of the look and development of skills as it relates to the idea of designing a typeface.

What's next?

Marconi I am currently working on two or three projects simultaneously - one serifed, one geometric and a sans serif - that are in distinct phases but still require some time of dedication. Maybe by the end of 2017 one of these typefaces will be finished and published. In addition to dealing with the fonts on a daily basis, I am dedicated to the development of the new TypeFolio Digital Foundry website, which is currently being tested and refined.

Thank you, Marconi!

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