Atelier Carvalho Bernau
Foundry and studio run by Susana Carvalho and Kai Bernau (see also his Letterlabor site), located in Den Haag, The Netherlands, and established in 2006.
Kai Bernau (b. 1978) studied graphic design at the University of Applied Sciences Schwabisch Gmünd in Germany before relocating to the Netherlands, where he graduated from the Design & Typography course of the KABK in The Hague in 2005 with his successful Neutral Typeface project. He continued in the KABK's Type and Media Master course where he graduated in 2006. Since 2011, Kai teaches type design in the Master in Art Direction program at ECAL in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2005, Susana Carvalho and Kai Bernau formed Atelier Carvalho Bernau, which is based in The Hague, The Netherlands.
- In 2010, they published the free titling grotesk Jean-Luc (Godard), inspired by the movie titling in (1967). Bernau writies: We did not find out who originally made the lettering for these two movies. Some speculate it could have been Godard himself. Godard's interest in graphic design and typography is clear, with many of his other films employing such strong typography-only titles and intertitles. They are almost a self-sufficient entity, another character in the movie, another comment. This style of lettering is so interesting to us because it is such a clear renunciation of the pretty, classical title screens that were common in that time's more conservative films. It has a more vernacular and brutishly low-brow character; this lettering comes from the street: We can not prove this at all, but we think it may be derived from the stencil letters of the Plaque Découpée Universelle, a lettering device invented in the 1870s by a certain Joseph A. David, and first seen in France at the 1878 Exposition Universelle, where it found broad appeal and rapid adoption. We think this style of lettering was absorbed into the public domain vernacular of French lettering, and that the 2 ou 3 choses titles are derived from these quotidien lettering style, as it would seem to fit Godard's obsession with vernacular typography. We learned about the PDU through Eric Kindel's article in Typography Papers 7. In 2009, then-Werkplaats Typografie student Dries Wiewauters surprised us with a revival of the Plaque Découpée Universelle. Below, the JeanLuc alphabet (white) and the PDU alphabet (blue), to show similarities and differences.
- Lyon Text and Lyon Display (2005-2010). These are two text families done at Commercial Type. They say: Lyon is a suite of contemporary reading typefaces for modern publications, based on historical models of the 16th century punch cutter Robert Granjon. Lyon reflects our convictions about modern digital typeface design: A decisively digital outline treatment that reveals our modern repertoire of tools, and the typeface itself as a modern design tool, paired with a certain Times-like unobtrusiveness in the Text sizes, contrasts nicely with Lyon's 16th century heritage.
- Neutraface Slab (2007-2009, art directed by Christian Schwartz and Ken Barber). The slab of the famous Neutraface family at House Industries.
- Neutral (2005-2009). The Neutral typeface was Kai's graduation project from the KABK undergrad course. It is what one could call a basic sans. It first appeared as Neutral BP in the now defunct B&P Foundry. In 2014, Typotheque picked it up. Kai writes: Neutral was inspired by typefaces that seem ageless, remaining fresh and relevant even decades after they were designed. It was constructed based on a set of parameters derived by measuring and averaging a number of popular 20th-century Sans Serif fonts.
- Custom typeface Munich Re (2008-2009) for the Munich Re Reinsurance group. MunichRe Sans takes roots in the grotesque types of the 1950s (among others, Dick Dooijes' Mercator for the Lettergieterij Amsterdam).
- Custom typeface Harvard Museum Neutral (2008).
- Atlas Grotesk (2012, by Kai Bernau, Susan Carvalho and Christian Schwartz, Commercial Type). A revival of Dick Dooijes's Mercator. See also Atlas Typewriter (2012, Commercial Type).
- Custom typeface Proprio (2007-2009) for the Fabrico Proprio project. This is a willfully bare-bones grotesk family without any snootiness.
- In 2016, Susana Carvalho and Kai Bernau published Algebra (Commercial Type): Algebra evolved from Granger, a headline typeface designed by Susana Carvalho and Kai Bernau for the US edition of Esquire. Algebra is a broad-shouldered slab serif typeface built on superelliptical forms. Its loose spacing gives a remarkably comfortable texture in text, and its crisp detailing gives a distinctive and serious feeling at display sizes, particularly with some negative tracking. Algebra references Adrian Frutiger's Egyptienne, Georg Trump's Schadow, and Hermann Zapf's Melior.
Atelier Carvalho Bernau
Klingspor Museum page
Dutch type design ⦿
Commercial fonts (small outfits) ⦿
Type blogs ⦿
Sites with only a few free fonts ⦿
Stencil fonts ⦿
Type in Portugal ⦿
Type design in Switzerland ⦿
German type scene ⦿
Typewriter fonts ⦿