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Neon Signs and Fear of FailureMarch 28, 2017

Vllg news ohm typographics

I’m really good at getting typefaces halfway done and then not finishing them. Or so claims type designer Tal Leming when asked about designing the typeface Ohm in 2009. Since the 2017 Typographics branding makes prominent use of Ohm, we decided to ask Leming about the origins of the design and the motivation behind it.

After moving to Baltimore, Maryland Leming would walk down the street near his house and pass a closed meat market that had a 1970s neon sign in the window. I don’t remember the name of the shop, but I remember the S. The S was amazing.

Around the same time, Erik Van Blokland was working on a pre-webfont online type-testing tool to help designers called LetterSetter and it needed a logo. Leming immediately thought of the S from the meat market sign and designed the characters needed for the logo. After that, he thought it would be fun to make more letters in the same style. He would work on it for a bit, and then wouldn’t touch it for six months. At some point, he realized he basically had the entire uppercase already designed for what would become Ohm.

Read more on the Typographics Blog….

Attendees of this year’s Typographics festival will get to see even more use of Ohm, since it will be used for event signage all around the campus of Cooper Union.