Alphatier™ (pronounced alpha-teer) came from on-going design experiments that refer to the historical evolution of letterform identities. The underlying question for these experiments is: how far beyond mere variation can the designer go in creating letterforms and still have them communicate a textual message?
My approach to this combines an extensive, personal experience in creating letterforms with a basis of inspiration from research in the history of alphabetic systems. While the letterforms are exclusively my own designs, inspiration has often been found in runes, shorthands, obsolete writing systems, or cursives that were the precursors to today’s scripts and handwriting models. This process, combined with the visual constant of hand-wrought forms, has provided this design with an authenticity that gives evidence of the alphabet’s human roots.
Turning these forms into a functioning typeface involved a lot of work. After the initial investigations had been made – hundreds of sketches and drawings were created – a period of distillation was required; a process of development and refinement needed to cull the forms that were able to work together, to allow them to find their voices and to provide the entire group of letters with a collective personality. Alphatier is a design for display and short text applications which begins to abandon the traditional formal scheme of the alphabet. It remains a cohesive typographic system less through the familiar roster of similar shapes and more through its overlying character.
The name Alphatier – the German word for “alpha male” (literally, “alpha animal”) – refers obliquely to deep historical roots and an almost primordial resonance that letterforms have in the human psyche.
- In 2001, Alphatier was chosen a winner in the Association Typographique Internationale’s first international typeface design competition.
- In 2002, Alphatier was selected as one of 17 typefaces to represent the best in type design of the year 2001 by the Type Directors Club of New York in their annual competition.
- All Caps
- Proportional Lining Figures
- Proportional Oldstyle Figures
- Stylistic Alternates
- Historical Forms
CFF PostScript OpenType
(see Technical Support for compatibility)
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