Designer Spotlight

Women in Design: Laura Meseguer

March 11, 2015 by
FontShop Team
FontShop Team

Laura Meseguer is co-founder of the eclectic Spanish outfit Type-Ø-Tones, one of the first independent digital foundries. The award-winning graphic and type designer, author and teacher tells us in which direction she thinks the type industry is heading.

Laura Meseguer at TypeOn, 2013. Photo © Felix Rodríguez
Laura Meseguer at TypeOn, 2013. Photo © Felix Rodríguez

Welcome to our interview and Fontlist series as part of the FontShop Celebrates: Women in Design week. During this series we interviewed a few of our favourite female designers. We then asked them to compile their own Fontlists of their top type picks, giving reasons as to why those particular faces tickled their fancy.

Day three of our interview and Fontlist series sees us speaking to Laura Meseguer.

Lalola (first born as Lola) is a display typeface inspired by a lettering model found in a book by Eugen Nerdinger and Lisa Beck. Lalola takes the few available letters from that model as a starting point and becomes a single style typeface with lots of personality. The typeface received a TDC 2014 Certificate of Excellence in Type Design, and was included in Typefacts’ Best Typefaces of 2013.
Lalola (first born as Lola) is a display typeface inspired by a lettering model found in a book by Eugen Nerdinger and Lisa Beck. Lalola takes the few available letters from that model as a starting point and becomes a single style typeface with lots of personality. The typeface received a TDC 2014 Certificate of Excellence in Type Design, and was included in Typefacts’ Best Typefaces of 2013.

[link not found] You set up your own foundry back in the late eighties/early nineties. Since then the industry has changed hugely in terms of formats, the rise of webfonts etc. What has been the most exciting development for you in recent years?

Laura Meseguer | “Well, yes you are right, we had the privilege of being there from the beginning. Probably the rise of web fonts and responsive web design are the most relevant developments today and in the recent years. Both brought to us a new field to explore, so let’s see where technology will be in five years! Currently I can see how new design practices are developing as a blend between design, computation and art… maybe type design will follow this route as well? One thing is for sure, the immediate future sees a tendency for design to create specific screen-friendly typefaces.”

Created with the aim to serve as an ideal companion to the serif typefaces used in the redesign of multiple regional newspapers (Lexicon by Bram de Does and Tiempos by Kris Sowersby). The family in text and display styles is intended to match the emotional attributes targeted by the new layout: very warm, dynamic, optimistic, friendly, newsy, contemporary, human, accessible… Its other purpose is to give an exclusive personality to the printed publications, and to enhance their online versions.
Created with the aim to serve as an ideal companion to the serif typefaces used in the redesign of multiple regional newspapers (Lexicon by Bram de Does and Tiempos by Kris Sowersby). The family in text and display styles is intended to match the emotional attributes targeted by the new layout: very warm, dynamic, optimistic, friendly, newsy, contemporary, human, accessible… Its other purpose is to give an exclusive personality to the printed publications, and to enhance their online versions.

Would you recommend starting your own foundry today?

Laura Meseguer | “Yes, if the designers in question have the desire to go it alone then I would recommend it.”

Rumba consists of three variants – Small for texts, Large for headlines and Extra for words with a lettering flavour. The family is based on the idea of fonts that are interrelated depending on the differences in contrast, expressiveness and use, not on the classic range of weights. Developed during Laura’s year at the Postgraduate course Type and Media at the KABK in The Hague. The typeface received a TDC 2005 Certificate of Excellence in Type Design, and awarded at ATypI Letter.2 2011.
Rumba consists of three variants – Small for texts, Large for headlines and Extra for words with a lettering flavour. The family is based on the idea of fonts that are interrelated depending on the differences in contrast, expressiveness and use, not on the classic range of weights. Developed during Laura’s year at the Postgraduate course Type and Media at the KABK in The Hague. The typeface received a TDC 2005 Certificate of Excellence in Type Design, and awarded at ATypI Letter.2 2011.

What has your experience as a teacher and lecturer taught you? And who was your mentor/inspiration?

Laura Meseguer | “In regards to my role as a lecturer I have learned that sharing ‘what, why and how’ is really important, because it’s the best way for people to understand the meaning and value of your work. From teaching I’ve learned many, many things, especially from students who are dealing with typography and type design for the first time. I have found that for them, the ‘learning by doing’ approach is the best possible option. Mentors? I would say that these are/were my drawing teacher at college and also my lecturers at Type and Media. As for inspiration, well there are many, many, things – it’s a long list!”

Magasin in use in the Dutch interiors decoration magazine “NL Elle Decoration”. This high-contrast display typeface is inspired by the pointed pen and copperplate calligraphy, yet with a retro-chic twist. It combines a sense of script with geometric and slightly condensed structure resulting in idiosyncratic curves softly connecting the vertical elegance of its forms. Magasin is ideally suited for use in large sizes in magazines headlines, posters or packaging.
Magasin in use in the Dutch interiors decoration magazine “NL Elle Decoration”. This high-contrast display typeface is inspired by the pointed pen and copperplate calligraphy, yet with a retro-chic twist. It combines a sense of script with geometric and slightly condensed structure resulting in idiosyncratic curves softly connecting the vertical elegance of its forms. Magasin is ideally suited for use in large sizes in magazines headlines, posters or packaging.

If you could publish another book, on a subject other than typography, what would it be about?

Laura Meseguer | “Difficult question. It would probably be a magazine, all about inspiration.”

Who would you love to design a custom typeface for?

Laura Meseguer | “Wow, I don’t know, for an Imre Reiner exhibition? It could be the most challenging (but rewarding) project ever!”

Find out more Laura’s work on her website, discover her typefaces, and don't forget to check out her specially curated Fontlist with her favourite typefaces!

Laura Meseguer at BunkerType, 2014. Photo © Jesús Morentín
Laura Meseguer at BunkerType, 2014. Photo © Jesús Morentín