Mike Abbink (b. 1967) earned a BFA in Fine Arts, and another one in Graphic Design and Packaging from Art Center in Pasadena. Born in 1967, he was a graphic designer at Meta Design San Francisco doing corporate and web design. In March 1999 he co-founded Method, Inc., a San Francisco-based company specializing in communication strategy, interaction and graphic design. Mike Abbink is the Executive Creative Director of the Brand Experience and Design Team within IBM Studios. Before that, he worked as a Creative Director for the Museum of Modern Art, Wolff Olins (New York), Saffron Consultants, Method (also co-founder) and as a Design Director at Apple Computer. His typefaces:
- The sans serif family FF Kievit (2000). This font family is also in the FontBureau collection, and is by many seen as the long-term replacement of Helvetica and Frutiger. FF Kievit won the typeface award at the ISTD TypoGraphic Awards 2001. It was also used to make the house font CDU Kievit for the CDU party in Germany. With Paul van der Laan, he co-designed FF Kievit Slab in 2013 in nine styles. In 2019, Abbink and van der Laan released FF Kievit Serif, which has wide apertures and large counters that make it quite legible.
- At Agfa Monotype, he and others designed the large GE Inspira family (2003-2005), about which Michael writes: I actually spent over a year working on the design of Inspira. It was Patrick's [Patrick Giasson] early concept that GE was drawn to, but at that time, it was way too funky and more display like then they wanted. I then took patricks original thoughts and spent several months refining the roman and created an italic (which Patrick did not do) which was then handed to monotype to create more weights and refine a bit. What you see in Inspira now, is quit different from Patrick's original concept. However, the more unique forms from Inspira are indeed driven by patricks original drawings and are the interesting forms of the font (v, x, z, y). I was also involved with art directing and working with the Monotype team (for over a year) in developing all the other iterations of inspira. All told, there were many people involved in the refinement of the Inspira font family. but I must say I would have to take a large credit in the design of inspira along with Patrick. I believe Patrick's designs and my designs created a nice balance that has made Inspira what it is today and of course let's not forget the hard work of monotype in really taking the font to the next level with all the weights, the condensed version, and exotics (Greek, Cyrillic, Turkish, etc.). Michael now works at Wolff Olins in New York. GE Inspira Sans and Serif (Mike Abbink, Paul van der Laan and Pieter van Rosmalen, Bold Monday) won an award in the TDC 2015 Type Design competition.
- From 2000 until 2006, he created FF Milo, which was followed in 2009 by FF Milo Serif. These typefaces were developed for magazine and newspaper print and have therefore short ascenders and descenders. Paul van der Laan helped with the production. In 2014, the series was augmented with FF Milo Slab (by Mike Abbink and Jesse Vega).
- In 2014, Abbink finished Brando (Bold Monday), which won third prize in the TDC 2015 Type Design competition. It was followed in 2016 by Brando Sans (Bold Monday).
- IBM Plex (2017). A large free font family created by Mike Abbink and Bold Monday for IBM's new corporate identity. It includes IBM Plex Sans, IBM Plex Serif and IBM Plex Mono subfamilies. Direct download at Github. Aneliza (2018) is a fork that has a single storey g in the italics.
Klingspor link. FontShop link. FontFont link.
Klingspor Museum page
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