Schwartzco / Kommissar


New Release: KommissarMay 15, 2014

Kommissar is Schwartzco’s latest — a streamlined sans in 3 widths, each with 7 weights: Kommissar, Kommissar Condensed, and Kommissar X-Condensed.

As part of his redesign of Fast Company, Florian Bachleda needed a condensed sans to complement the new general-purpose sans and slab families. Together, Florian and Christian Schwartz found a stripped down, flat-sided condensed sans in a German specimen book, with a distinctive ‘crotchless’ treatment for where the stems met the bowls in the lowercase. This family, called Vertikal and likely cut in the late 1920s, seemed to have some potential, but a quick digitization of a handful of characters showed that it was a little too dry and boring in layouts.

Florian and his design staff had come across the condensed styles of Paul Renner’s Plak, and asked if Christian and his design staff at Commercial Type might be able to synthesize a new condensed sans that had the distinctive traits of Vertikal, with no contrast and flat connections on the arches and bowls in characters like h m n r and a b d p q g; synthesized with the roundness and wandering uppercase crossbar heights of Plak. The Commercial Type designers figured out how to make this marriage of styles work, then expanded the family out to a full range of weights in three progressively narrower widths. In the heaviest weights, the family ended up with a taste of the future as predicted in the 1970s.

New Release: DignitasMarch 7, 2014

Dignitas, a contemporary take on the Roman inscriptional capitals, was designed by Christian Schwartz and Dino Sanchez originally as part of their high-concept Luxury Collection. As such, it takes an almost parodic approach to the idea of elegance. The large x-height is balanced out by very long ascenders and descenders, and though it was promoted as a text face, its delicate details work best at 18pt and above.

The classical proportions of Roman inscriptional capitals have never truly gone out of style. They have been revived again and again in history, as architectural lettering during the Renaissance and several Neoclassical periods since; by Fred Goudy in 1930; as a signage alphabet for London, designed by David Kindersley in the 1950s; and in the early 1990s in Carol Twombly’s Adobe Trajan, ubiquitous in movie poster design to this day. These proportions can also be seen in such unexpected places as Paul Renner’s capitals for Futura. The inscription at the bottom of Trajan’s Column in Rome is the best known example of this lettering style, but many, many examples still exist throughtout the former Roman Empire.

Read on and test it out here…

Designing NewsNovember 26, 2013

We can’t wait to get our hands on a copy of this book! In addition to featuring Kris Sowersby’s Domaine throughout, Designing News showcases and analyses some of the best news publication going today.

Village member Christian Schwartz designed the logotype for IL magazine

Francesco Franchi details his extraordinary work for Il Sole 24 Ore, where he’s been the Art Director since 2008. Mr. Franchi has worked with village members, Kris Sowersby and Christian Schwartz on the logotype and typographic programme for IL magazine.

Klim’s Tiempos and Founders Grotesk at work in IL magazine

As Mr Franchi’s site notes, ‘In Designing News, award-winning editorial and infographics designer Francesco Franchi conveys his vision for the future of the news and media industries. He evaluates the fundamental changes that are taking place in our digital age in terms of consumer expectations and the way media is being used. The book then outlines the challenges that result and proposes strategies for traditional publishing houses, broadcasting companies, journalists, and designers to address them.’

I LoveTypography's Best of 2009: Giorgio SansJanuary 25, 2010

You think you’ve seen tall x-heights until you see Giorgio Sans. Commissioned for the New York Times T Magazine, this one screams high fashion.I’m only hoping that fashion titles will drop their tired and overused Didones in favour of this modern, elegant, slim, clean, and tall, beautifully drawn display face. The titling alternates (though there are just a few — rounded forms of C, D, G, O, Q; and a higher contrast G & Q) really give the face extended versatility. They work beautifully to punctuate, to let in a little extra light. With six weights, this will certainly find applications outside of high fashion.

Read more on I Love Typography

New Release: Giorgio SansDecember 26, 2009

Of all the typefaces I’ve drawn, Giorgio was probably one of the most unlikely candidates for expansion, so I was intrigued by Chris Martinez’s idea to add a sans to the family. The first iterations slavishly copied the structural quirks of the original, like the rounded legs on K and R and the two-story g with the open bottom bowl, but we discovered that a lot of these odd details could be taken out, making Giorgio Sans better able to stand on its own. The extreme x-height and straight-sided bowls were enough of a connection to keep the two families looking like variations on the same idea. The x-height also helps to differentiate Giorgio Sans from other straight-sided sans serifs. While Giorgio borrowed from Imre Reiner’s Corvinus, I was inspired more by French enamel signs and generic American straight-sided sign lettering for Giorgio Sans.

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New Release: Stag Sans RoundDecember 23, 2009

I never expected Stag to take on such a life of its own. It was originally intended to be a small, four weight slab family for headlines only, but the art staff at Esquire keep dreaming up new directions to push it in — first a sans, then a stencil, and now a rounded version of the sans.

With a rounded typeface, the specific degree of roundness is everything. Stag Sans Round needed to retain its masculinity as it became soft and cuddly, so I knew we didn’t want to make the terminals too ‘sausage-like’, like they are in faces like VAG Rounded and Frankfurter, as this would cause the Black weight to become far too comical, but they had to be rounded enough to differentiate the face from the original Stag Sans. The roundness on some terminals in the original wasn’t quite as helpful in finding the correct degree of roundness as I thought it would be, because it made the terminals too soft. However, where possible, Ross and I kept this higher degree of softness on terminals that had been rounded off in the original, which helps to make this face a bit more complex and organic in its roundness than the average soft-edged sans.

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New Release: Stag StencilDecember 1, 2009

Stag Stencil, drawn in collaboration with Berton Hasebe, is the latest addition to the growing Stag family. Stag Stencil Bold was commissioned by Esquire for their 75th anniversary issue, and Stag Stencil Light was commissioned by a Formula One racing magazine. In both cases, the clients wanted Stag’s masculinity taken to almost comical extremes by making the implied ‘constructedness’ of the forms explicit. Stag’s forms are unusually organic for a stencil face, so I thought it would be interesting to apply this idea to the softer, more cuddly italics.

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Typographica on StagApril 19, 2009

Christian Palino reviews Stag

In 2005, Schwartz and Barnes’ Guardian included a masterful retelling of what an Egyptian could do in print with its wedge-shaped serifs, subtle weight contrast and proportions diverging from traditional, Figgins-esque slabs. With Stag, Schwartz takes that talent for new Antique forms even further. Commissioned for Esquire (and later expanded for Las Vegas Weekly), Stag conjures up an amalgamation of influences — the marked modulation of thicks and thins in George Trump’s Schadow or Robert Besley’s Clarendon; the interesting counterforms of Heinrich Jost’s bold faces for Beton; the rhythmic italic of Caslon’s two-line antique from the early 19th century, and this face Schwartz found in a Deberny & Peignot specimen from around 1835 — rolling them together into his own chunky recipe.

But Stag is no mere revival, it employs curious details, like the bracketing only on the outside of the serifs, with a giant x-height to create an completely new texture. This face sings like the fat lady in the heavy weights.

Read more on Typographica

New Release: Stag v2 + Stag DotJuly 2, 2008

We are very happy to announce the update of Christian Schwartz’s very well-received Stag type family. Released in September of last year, Stag has quickly become a favorite of publication and branding designers, with its subtle but persuasive personality. Stag’s gently bracketed slab serifs have inspired a raft of wannabes.

With three new weights, Stag’s 7 weights range from Thin through Black, and make a perfect pair with the equally-popular Stag Sans.

Also joining Stag are two amazing Dot variants which are not to be missed.

TypoBerlin: Christian SchwartzMay 31, 2008

Couture Type & The New York Times In 2007, Christian Schwartz was commissioned to create a new typeface for T, the New York Times Style Magazine, that would embody the current moment in fashion. In his lecture Schwartz will show how he and Paul Barnes settled on the basic design of the face, discuss how typography influences the personality of a magazine, and explain why not all typefaces have to last forever.

Watch the lecture here

Interview: Christian SchwartzMarch 30, 2008

Chris Palmieri of Tokyo Art Beat interviewed Christian Schwartz.

‘Typefaces, or fonts, are powerful tools that color the voice of our written words. Almost everyone uses fonts. Average PC users choose from the selection pre-installed fonts on their computers to add expressiveness to a greeting card or presentation. Graphic designers select from small libraries of purchased commercial fonts to create websites, brochures and company identities. Editorial and corporate art directors commission large, exclusive-use type families to standardize their organizations’ entire visual identity system.’

A lot of your retail typefaces started out as commissions. What happens one of these controlled environment experiments gets released into the wild?

It’s fantastic. I love to see things used in surprising ways. Just think about Bell Centennial. That was drawn for tiny listings in a phone book, and then in the 1990s Rolling Stone blew it up to 800 points, until you could see the ink traps that made it work at its intended size on its intended paper. It’s really interesting to see these details taken out of context and exposed.

Read more on Tokyo Art Beat

Typographica on GiorgioMarch 5, 2008

Ben Kiel reviews Giorgio

It is a shockingly beautiful typeface, one so arresting that I stopped turning the page when I first saw it a Sunday morning about a year ago. Commissioned from Christian Schwartz and used by Chris Martinez and his staff at T, Giorgio exudes pure sex and competes with the photographs beside it. The designers at T were clearly unafraid of what it demands from the typographer and, over the past year, kept on finding ways to push Giorgio to its limit. Extremely well drawn in its details, full of tension between contrast and grace, it is a typeface that demands to be given space, to be used with wit and courage, and for the typographer to be unafraid in making it the page. Now that Giorgio is for sale to the general public, any designer can discover if they can can use such a demandingly beautiful thing as well as T did.

Read more at Typographica

Prix Charles Peignot: Christian SchwartzOctober 29, 2007

Every four or five years, ATypI awards the Prix Charles Peignot for Excellence in Type Design to a designer under the age of 35 who has made an oustanding contribution to type design.

Christian Schwartz was born in 1977 and grew up in a small town in New Hampshire. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1999 with a degree in Communication Design, and then spent 3 months as the in-house type designer at MetaDesign Berlin. After a year spent at The Font Bureau, he moved to New York and established Orange Italic with Chicago-based designer Dino Sanchez. The extensive Guardian Egyptian family for the Guardian newspaper’s dramatic relaunch in 2005 — developed with Paul Barnes — won a black pencil from D&AD in 2006, while his work with Erik Spiekermann on Deutsche Bahn was given a gold medal by the German Design Council in 2007. Since his first published typeface at age 14, Christian has worked on or created 26 typeface families for display and text setting.

Read more on ATYPI…

New Release: Stag SansOctober 15, 2007

Looking back at the process that lead to Stag, I can see that Stag Sans was inevitable. Esquire had a lot of trouble finding a sans to complement Stag and Hoefler & Frere-Jones’s Mercury to complete their typographic palette, and had settled on Apex Sans — a perfectly good sans serif, but its narrow proportions and long ascenders and descenders were drastically different from Mercury and Stag, making them difficult to mix in a single headline or as emphasis in a block of copy. We combed through every contemporary sans serif we could find, but nothing was quite the right fit — rounded corners were overly friendly; none of the existing geometric sans serifs looked right with Stag; most humanist sans serifs were far too narrow, too calligraphic, or too straightlaced. Paul Barnes reminded me that the most obvious solution was probably the right one: ‘You know what you have to do, right? Make a sans serif version of Stag.’

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New Release: StagJuly 14, 2007

Stag started as a small family of slab serifs commissioned for headlines by the US edition of Esquire magazine and eventually grew into a sprawling multi-part family including a flexible sans companion and two additional display variants that are probably best described as special effects.

New Release: Local GothicJuly 14, 2005

Schwartzco launched with Village on July 14, 2005 and released a long-brewing favorite experimental typeface, Local Gothic.

While I was in college I took several classes at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and I had to walk by a Rally’s Hamburger stand to get there. Their sign was amazing — it looked like they had bought their movable letters on three or four separate occasions and didn’t care that they didn’t match. It gave me an idea for a very distressed typeface that was made up of completely undistressed characters. The uneven texture would only be apparent if you looked at multiple characters at a time.

I loosely based the individual characters on the four most popular sans serifs in American vernacular design: Helvetica Bold, Futura Bold, Franklin Gothic Condensed and Alternate Gothic No. 2. Ultimately it’s more a special effect than a typeface, but I think it’s a pretty cool special effect.

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Introducing VillageJuly 14, 2005

Village launched on July 14, 2005. The original member foundries were: Feliciano, Darden Studio, KLTF, Lux Typographics, Schwartzco, Type Initiative, Thirstype, Underware & Village (since re-christened Constellation).

Welcome: SchwartzcoJuly 14, 2005

Schwartzco, Christian Schwartz’s foundry, joins Village upon our launch.

Schwartzco, Inc. was founded by type designer Christian Schwartz, and is based in New York City. Christian specializes in custom typefaces for publications and corporate identities, and has designed commercial fonts for several respected foundries. Many of Schwartz’s typefaces have been proprietary designs for corporations such as Bosch and Deutsche Bahn, both with design luminary Erik Spiekermann, Symantec, with Conor Mangat, and EMI, for the marketing of George Harrison’s final album. Schwartz has also designed typefaces for many publications including the US edition of Esquire, Roger Black’s redesign of the Houston Chronicle, and the extensive Guardian Egyptian family, with Paul Barnes, for The Guardian’s dramatic new look in 2005. The Guardian work has been honored by D&AD and the redesign team was shortlisted for the Designer of the Year prize by the Design Museum in London. Schwartz and Barnes were recently named two of the 40 most influential designers under 40 by Wallpaper magazine.

Typer / Dignitas

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