Incubator / Rum Plakat


New Foundry — Sharp TypeSeptember 12, 2016

Since the publication of his Sharp Sans No.1 type family through the Village Incubator, designer Lucas Sharp has gone from strength to strength, releasing 3 more families through the Incubator and taking on some significant custom type projects. Sharp Sans has been wonderfully embraced by designers around the world, including Michael Bierut at Pentagram, who used the typeface in his identity for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential campaign. (See more about that project here.)

We are proud to announce that Lucas’s new company with his partner, Chantra Malee, Sharp Type Co. is moving into its own slot at Village. We look forward to bringing you more — a LOT more — type from Lucas in the coming months and years.

Sharp Type library

Sharp Sans
Sharp Sans Display No.1
Sharp Sans Display No.2

New release: Frauen, designed by Lucas SharpSeptember 24, 2015

Frauen is our ode to German calligraphy. The script style is based on some lettering I found on the cover of an almanac of Berlin debutantes published in 1945 titled, Die shönsten Frauen der Welt (The Most Beautiful Women in the World).

The 1945 almanac of Berlin debutantes that inspired Frauen, ‘Die schönsten Frauen der Welt’

The Roman is partially based on the calligraphy of Friedrich Neugebauer, and partly my own creation. Frauen Roman and Script share a common weight, x-height, and nib angle, and when used together behave as if the same unabashedly German calligrapher penned them both in the same sitting. As such, the uppercase and lowercase of each style can be used interchangeably with one-another.

Take a look at Frauen’s design, features & details here

New release: Proof, designed by Hanno BennertJuly 27, 2015

Proof, designed by Hanno Bennert, is a new release in our Incubator foundry.

The design of Proof (formerly known as Tram) has its origins in many tram rides in Düsseldorf, Germany, and is directly influenced by the powerful, industrial charm of these vehicles. Many of the early sketches were drawn on these rides. (For the first several years of its life, the typeface was called ‘Tram’; alas, our friend and colleague Henrik Kubel at A2-Type had already published his CPH Tram, and we did not wish to create any confusion in the marketplace between these two vastly different designs.)

Proof developed into a sturdy and compact sans-serif which balances a constructed, technical feel, squarish superellipse forms with subtle but dynamic stroke modulation and angled stroke terminals harking to wayfinding types. Hanno incorporated humanist elements as well as features of classic grotesks, and he hopes to have retained some of the warmth of those old types.

New release: The Sharp Sans SupersetMay 7, 2015

Sharp Sans No. 1 was Lucas Sharp’s first release through Village, and it debuted in the Incubator. Sharp Sans injects some much needed humanism into the Futura model. With its sheared terminals and true italics (in Sharp Sans No.1), Sharp Sans combines the appealing typographic compensation of the grotesque, with the plump circular bowls of the geometric. The result is a typeface suited for both text & display use that breathes life into the genre of the geometric sans.


Although Sharp Sans originated as an act of loving homage to the geometric sans serifs of the nineteen seventies, it eventually grew to encompass a thorough body of styles, all teetering on the cusp of the geometric and the grotesque.

As Sharp Sans evolved, different forms & ideas began taking sides. Some belonged in a more rigid, apollonian universe, while others seemed to be finding a bit of organic aliveness within their geometric framework. As the differences in style became more & more defined, the project was eventually split into two distinct 20-font superfamilies.

Read more here & here

Communication ArtsJanuary 5, 2015

Ogg, designed by Lucas Sharp, received the Award of Excellence from Communication Arts magazine, and it was featured in their 5th Typography Annual.

Communication Arts writes: ‘This year’s Typography Annual includes several firsts. For the first time, selection required a unanimous vote, a testament to the quality of submissions and the enthusiasm of our jury. Also for the first time, student work was welcomed to the competition, in its own category. Again, the level of quality was high, and the judges awarded 19 student projects a place among the 140 total projects selected.

‘Compared with previous typography competitions, this annual features an increased use of custom letterforms and hand lettering. Also in contrast to the last several years, where we saw the frequent use of just a handful of popular typefaces, you’ll see a greater variety of typefaces in use. In fact, out of the 119 typefaces featured in this year’s annual, only 5 are used twice.’

Typecache’s 20 Best of 2013 picksMay 14, 2014

Typecache has named six Village releases — Balto, the Domaine Superset, the Brooklyn Superset, Odesta, Ogg and Superior Title to their 20 Favorites fonts of 2013 (out of 550 new releases they featured in 2013.)

Typecache writes: ‘There were more than 550 new releases announced last year on TYPECACHE! So, it took us some time to review all of the great work from last year. We created another roundup of what we regard as the great typefaces from 2013.’

See all 20 Typecache picks here

2014 TDC Winner: OggMay 1, 2014

Ogg, designed by Lucas Sharp and published through our Incubator foundry in 2013, was one of the winners in the 2014 TDC competition.

The TDC writes: ‘There was a total of only 24 entries selected by the jury from nearly 200 submitted from 29 countries. These winners will will be included in the Annual of the Type Directors Club, Typography 35 and also included in 7 exhibitions touring cities in the United States, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.’

Typographica’s Best of 2013: Post GroteskMarch 13, 2014

David Sudweeks writes: Confusion, pleasure, disbelief. That was my initial reaction to Post Grotesk, Josh Finklea’s design which, to my mind at least, seemed at once to have always existed, and yet still come with something new.

The guiding principle behind the Neo-Grotesk genre — so far as I’ve been able to follow it — is a careful study of the virtues of the Grotesk letter itself, not including further developments that span additional genres, but rather focusing in on those features peculiar to the Grotesk and incorporating them into one’s own con­tem­p­orary design.

I can only imagine that work on Post Grotesk began with a long, serious look at Berthold’s Akzidenz-Grotesk. The face seems to also benefit from much of the airiness and eccentricities of say, Monotype Grotesque, with all its inherent playfulness, while also outwardly displaying a serious bite. In the final design, almost all overt signs of danger have been polished away, the jagged teeth of the cap ‘C’ filed down, leav­ing only furtive looks here and there, and the occas­ional oddly-cut terminal angle such as on the bar of the ‘4’ or ampersand out stroke, declaring, as it were, “I am what I am.”

The face’s relaxed fit, generous x-height, and linear forms go a long way toward establishing an inviting texture. Added interplay between curves of varying tension keeps the page from going too cold. Note, for example, the squareness of the lowercase ‘o’ versus the roundness of the ‘b’. Other details, such as the relatively intricate set of commas, quote marks, and apostrophes, thoughtful use of ligature features to substitute efficient, non-ligating forms, a set of stylistic alternates offering a substantially different feel and function, and its range of weights add to the face’s versatility. So ultimately, yes, I’m very pleased with it; I’m glad to see this kind of careful work within a genre and happy to add it to my favorites.

See the review on Typographica.org.

Communication Arts magazine on IncubatorFebruary 20, 2014

In the past decade, “incubators,” businesses where the experienced help nurture the new, have been popping up in a wide range of fields, from tech startups to nonprofit creative arts organizations. The aptly named Incubator is one of the first such programs specifically dedicated to type design. It’s one part of Village, a small, independent type distributor, publisher and type design studio based in the Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) area of Brooklyn. The name Village derives from its original location in New York’s East Village and its structure as a collection of member-foundries with a cooperative connection. It includes top type designers from around the world and membership is by invitation only. Just as carefully selected, the “Incubatees” are up-and-coming designers who come to the attention of Village founders Chester Jenkins, former partner of Thirstype, his wife Tracy and other members of the group.

Launched on Village’s three-year anniversary in 2008, Incubator helps designers develop their typographic voices and get their fonts ready to sell with “gentle guidance” from Village members. “We were already kind of incubating before Incubator,” recalls Jenkins. He and longtime Village member Christian Schwartz of Commercial Type mentored Kris Sowersby, now a Village member in his own right, while he was preparing his debut release, a curvy serif called Feijoa, for his foundry Klim in the mid-2000s. “Christian and I each worked on a custom type project with Kris, and I worked with him on the technical aspects of bringing Feijoa to market. We had already committed to having a dedicated slot for Kris in Village and he has always been an incredibly talented and skilled designer, but preparing type for market is much more involved than most people realize, even those who have self-published type.” Another pre-Incubator incubatee was Hugo d’Alte. “We worked closely with him to prepare his typeface Kaas for publication in 2005 and released that through the Thirstype label,” Jenkins says. So the idea to incubate fell out naturally from the process of guiding typefaces to market. But Incubator as another foundry within Village was not officially formed until the release of Jeremy Mickel’s Router in 2008.

Mickel found inspiration for Router in some handmade signage under the streets of New York: words router-etched out of plastic in the subway station at 33rd and Park. Mickel was familiar with Village; he and Jenkins had previously met at what Jenkins calls “type geek nights in NoHo” back in 2006. Because Village specializes in a hand-picked and varied collection of type styles, Jenkins could see that Router would be a nice addition to the roster. “We knew that we wanted to release Router,” notes Jenkins, “but didn’t feel that it fit into any of our existing channels. Which is when we lit upon the idea of having an incubator, which would allow us to publish types—usually first designs, sometimes student work, always interesting—without the kind of ‘marriage’ that is involved in having a foundry slot at Village.”

Both Jenkins and Schwartz gave Mickel feedback, each focusing on different aspects of the design. “I had gotten to know Christian Schwartz and he became a mentor for Router,” says Mickel. “He’s listed as my Village Counsel as he answered many technical questions and gave drawing feedback during its development. But Chester was also very involved, offering his opinion and expertise the whole way through.” The one-on-one counseling came at a good time for Router. “I still had a lot to do. I think I had completed a full draft of Router Book and Book Italic and done sketches of the other weights. But it was about a year after I first agreed to publish Router with Village that it actually got released. Village understands that good type takes time and they have never pressured me to release anything before it was ready.” Mickel is now a full Village member with his foundry MCKL , and Router was included in the 2012 exhibit Graphic Design—Now in Production, co-organized by Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and the Walker Art Center.

Incubator has grown in the past five years to eight releases, with many more coming up. Lucas Sharp, another Incubatee, gives a good description of the easygoing nature of Village. His project is Sharp Sans, a geometric, humanist sans serif. “I submitted it directly to the designers of Village, who got back to me that they were interested in publishing it after a few meetings. I actually met Chester in person when I ordered all the specimen books off the Village website and, since I was working out of a studio in Dumbo at the time, he hand-delivered them to me on his dog walk. I was originally mentored by Joshua Darden and worked as a draftsman at the Darden Studio before I went independent, and Chester picked up where Josh left off in terms of my typography education. There isn’t any kind of pairing system, but Chester and Tracy make themselves available to look at work, and if you want to get another Village designer’s take, you can just e-mail them and they are responsive. I’ve found that indie type designers in general tend to be friendly, helpful and accessible.”

Even with the generous design feedback, Incubator is not a type design school. As Sharp explains, “Incubator is more of a publisher than a mentor. Yes, they are very helpful and can really help take burgeoning talent to the next level, but they are not finding talented novices off the street and turning them into world-class type designers. If you get into Incubator, you obviously have something going on and are looking to get away from the corporate typeface-reseller publishing scene. Most people start on one of the other behemoth type resellers that simply throw your font on a pile of millions of fonts and take half your sales. That model tends to favor quantity over quality since resellers are constantly promoting the newest releases, in some cases, from a completely non-curated and constant stream of mostly garbage from all over the world. In that world, it actually makes fiscal sense to do two mediocre fonts instead of one quality font in the same amount of time. There is always a diamond in the rough, but the model definitely promotes disposability over timelessness. Village is a great example of a viable alternative to this issue that is actually inclusive of new talent.”

Read on at CommunicationArts.com

TNW / Best of 2013December 23, 2013

Sean Manning of TNW included three Village releases in his Best of 2013 picks.

See more over at TNW

New Release: OggNovember 19, 2013

Inspired by the hand lettering of 20th century book designer and calligrapher Oscar Ogg, Ogg captures the unique mix of calligraphic and typographic form he achieved through his use of hand carved pen nibs. Summoning a renaissance flavor while still managing to feel fresh and contemporary, Ogg begs for employment in magazine spreads, book covers, and all kinds of editorial applications. Designed by Lucas Sharp in 2013.

You can find more design information, character sets & samples here…

New Release: Post GroteskOctober 18, 2013

The development of Josh Finklea’s Post Grotesk began in the Spring of 2011 as a project to design a contemporary version of the traditional grotesk sans-serif. The intention was to build an amiable typeface with maximum usability and an overall sense of neutrality. Post Grotesk reduces the typical rigidness of a grotesk through subtle additions of personality and uniqueness.

See Post Grotesk here…

New Release: Sharp SansJune 2, 2013

Sharp Sans, designed by new Incubator member, Lucas Sharp, injects some much needed humanism into the Futura model. With its sheered terminals and true italics, Sharp Sans combines the appealing typographic compensation of the grotesque, with the plump circular bowls of the geometric. The result is a typeface suited for both text and display use that breaths life into the genre of the geometric sans.

See Sharp Sans here

Pagan & Sharp lectureJune 1, 2013

Lucas Sharp & Carlos Pagan (Pagan & Sharp), will give a talk at the 14th Street Apple store, Wednesday, April 3rd @7pm.

New Release: Rum Sans & SerifNovember 19, 2012

Designer, Trine Rask, writes: ‘Rum Sans and Rum Serif are designed inside out, focusing on the counters. The counters are repeated throughout the typeface, which gives a strong text image in small and especially display sizes. It is both very simple and very delicate in detail. It has a large character set with alternative characters that make it possible to create a more soft and round text image. It has very delicate swashes that work like a discreet period after a word.’

Rum means space in Danish.

Typographica on AgileJanuary 25, 2012

Jan Middendorp reviews Agile

When embarking on the Agile project, Swiss-born Edgar Walthert decided to go where few designers, if any at all, had gone before. In order to achieve that, he designed his family from the inside out, the way one might conceive an experimental dance performance: not by taking existing solutions and trying to modify or interpolate them, or mash them up, but by improvising possible shapes and gradually refine the results. Walthert was looking for something between the clean, technical typefaces of the post-Frutiger variety, and the popular genre of hand-written faces — friendly but often messy. What he came up with was a family that is informed by his time at KABK Type]Media, and working as an assistant to Luc(as) de Groot, without showing clear traces of the style and approach usually associated with ‘The Hague’. If the idea of handwriting was at the core of Walthert’s initial experiments, the resulting family hardly shows it: it is very much a printing typeface — precise, clean and almost monolinear, yet lively and pleasant all the same. Moreover, as no character was derived mechanically from others and all were individually drawn, there is an almost imperceptible irregularity about the fonts that adds to their sense of effortless suppleness.

Read more on [Typographica]

Schrift des Monats: RumApril 11, 2011

Page reviews the Rum Sans & Rum Serif superset

Trine Rask aus Kopenhagen hat ihre im Vorjahr veröffentlichte Schrift Rum Black erweitert. Nicht zuletzt durch die Prämierung des TDC 2010 ermutigt, hat die dänische Schrift-Designerin nun nachgelegt.

Die Fonts der Rum führen einen guten Schuss dänische Tradition mit sich. Nicht von ungefähr — denn Trines »Helden« heißen Knud V. Engelhardt und Claus Achton Friies. Beide Architekten haben im letzten Jahrhundert in Dänemark Bahnbrechendes geleistet. Engelhardt war in der ersten Hälfte einer der prägenden Gestalter für den öffentlichen Raum, der bis heute nicht nur bei unseren nördlichen Nachbarn nachwirkt. Der Spross der Architektenfamilie Achton Friis gestaltete Briefmarken und 1972 das königliche Wappen. Kein Wunder also, dass Ziffern bei den beiden eine große Rolle spielten. Und die Ziffern sind auch sehr markant in der Rum. Man spürt einen Hauch Engelhardt-Friies in den breit angelegten Formen — der sich noch verstärkt, je fetter die Schnitte werden.

Read more on Page

New Release: FreyaMay 8, 2010

Freya is Saku Heinänen’s first type design, but was many years in the making. Saku has worked for many years as an editorial designer, and this experience informed his approach to type design. Freya was intended to be an all-round serif face, useful in many situations, from newspapers and magazines to book text.

The family is clearly a 21st-century product, with its sharp angles and tight curves. The serifs are asymmetrical, which are especially visible at large sizes in the headline weights. The type’s proportions are located somewhere between classical and post-modern, and make for a friendly typeface for extended reading.

Read more

Launch: IncubatorJuly 14, 2008

Village is pleased to announce the Incubator; our home for debut releases from young designers. The Incubator aims to help designers develop their typographic voices with gentle guidance from Village’s other members.

Typographica on ArrivalDecember 25, 2005

Peter Bruhn reviews Arrival

Arrival has finally arrived (pun intended). It took Keith Tam three years since he first showed his PDF specimen of Arrival until it was finally released. This typeface references both industral and calligraphic forms, from the work of Evert Bloemsma to the selfnamed font by Adrian Frutiger. The humanist flare with the expansion of the end strokes creates a genial feel, but the face can still seem formal. This, I think, is perfect for a font made especially for directional signage. A strictness combined with friendliness. I can’t imagine a better welcome to a new city.

Read more on Typographica

Typer / Agile

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