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InspirationNov 13, 2023

Six foundries refining our outlook on typography

Inscriptions Chinese letters on a black canvas

By Rita Tang Provisional RGD, Freelance Graphic Designer

Eurocentrism is rooted in design; it’s often embedded in what we do. We often disregard the contributions and perspectives of other regions and cultures, which prevents progressive growth. To challenge these norms, I am highlighting some global type foundries that will give designers a broader insight into what design looks like internationally. By embracing open-mindedness, we can generate an inclusive and balanced perspective resulting in a more inclusive landscape.

Boharat

Boharat is the independent type foundry of Abdo Mohamed. Through Boharat, Abdo intends to bring Arabic type to the forefront while inspiring designers to focus on the rich heritage of Arabic calligraphy.

Examples of Arabic calligraphy Commercial International Bank Custom Typeface © Boharat

Universal Thirst

Universal Thirst, founded by designer-engineer duo Gunnar Vilhjálmsson and Kalapi Gajja, creates typefaces in Indic and Latin scripts. Launched in 2016, the foundry creates high-quality typefaces that support various South Asian writing systems and works harmoniously with the Latin script. Their work includes designing a Bangle typeface for Dhaka Art Summit 2020, a revival of Linotype Gujarati for Monotype, Latin type for The Gourmand and Frieze’s new typeface, Frieze Sans.

Type Example from Universal Thirst Linotype Devanagari © Universal Thirst

YMG Type Foundry

YMG is a Seoul-based type foundry from Yoon Min Goo designing typefaces in the Hangul script. Currently teaching at Hongik University and Ewha Womans University, Yoom's client include Google, GQ Korea, Netflix and Nike Korea.

Type example from YMG Type Foundry Songeun collaborated with Sulki and Min for Songeun Art and Cultural Foundation © YMG Type Foundry

Republish

Republish is a project by Behalf Studio based in Saigon, Vietnam. Founded by Giang Nguyen, this foundry revives forgotten typographic elements within the urban environment and old archived materials for a digital landscape. All of their fonts are open-source and free to use.

Adapter Arabic © Republish

Contrast Foundry

Contrast Foundry was founded by Maria Doreuli in 2014 with clients that including BBDO, Comme des Garçons, Google and Pentagram.

Type example from Contrast Foundry CoFo Peshka designed by Maria Doreuli © Contrast Foundry

Rosetta

Rosetta is a typeface design studio set up by David Brezina, José Scaglione, and Veronika Burian, focused on addressing the need for multi-script typography in a polyphonic world. They support various language systems including Arabic, Cyiliic, Greek, Hebrew, Tamil and Latin. Clients include Adobe, Google, LG, BBC World Service and Harvard University Press.

Type Example from Adapter Arabic Adapter Arabic © Rosetta Type Foundry

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