Abstract – The Art of Design – Pocket Profile

Abstract – The Art of Design

Pocket Profile – Jonathan Hoefler

Kyle and Pauline recommended a unique Netflix series called “Abstract”, which has different episodes exploring various styles of art and design. Although I intend on binging on the series, I decided to begin with watching the episode which relates to the areas I feel that I need to improve on most in IxD, to see what I could learn. That’s why I decided to watch the episode called, ‘Typeface Design: Jonathan Hoefler’.

The first thing that stood out to me immediately was Hoefler’s passion and enthusiasm. He is always looking around at the type around him, constantly photographing, sketching and capturing the details that a ‘muggle’ would never think too. I felt that I’ve learned so much that I didn’t know already about type and since have found myself noticing minor details such as kerning and ligatures since watching the show. He really inspired me.


Jonathan Hoefler gave so much advice during this episode and I was sure to take notes down in my diary. He stated that the can be no alternative for first hand sources, even in the modern era we as Interaction designers are learning in today. That is why I am going to continue to have my camera stuck to my side.

Jonathan Hoefler also explained how typefaceartists are often overlooked, explaining that people don’t believe him when he says that he designed the font which represents many famous brands, such as Apple, Tiffany and Co, as well as the world renowned font, Gotham. People may believe that type designs just exist, or were created by a computer, when in fact they are an art form. There is an extensive inspiration and design process behind each font. It’s more than just an alphabet… there are capitals, lower case, thin, italic, bold, ultra, numbers, punctuation, etc.

Creating a typeface for a company or brand is a very tricky job to get right, but when it is right it will continue to be successfully recognisable and stand to the company. It will filter through everything, from shop fronts, guest passes, print publications… the list could go on!

My favourite and most memorable part of the episode was whenever they hit a fork in their path for designing ‘Decimal’. Hoefler stated, ‘ You can either keep going with it- normally not successful. You can abandon ship, or else you can push ideas further and look for new ideas’. I will try and live by this advice whenever I become deflated with my work. I’ve learned so much already from this documentary and highly recommend to anyone with an interest in typography.

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