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Q&A with Ludwig Übele

Type designer @ LudwigType Foundry

Hi. My name is Ludwig Übele and I design typefaces. I run the LudwigType Foundry based in Berlin, Germany.

Tell a little bit about your current duties and tasks in LudwigType Foundry

LudwigType is an one man studio, so basically I do everything myself. I design new typefaces or expand existing ones, produce the final fonts, distribute the typefaces and also promote them. For each typeface I usually design a little promo page, to show the fonts in action. This is the real fun part after the hard work of completing an extensive type family.

What are the differences between working for a design agency and LudwigType Foundry? What are the highlights here for you?

In a design agency you always have to satisfy clients. At LudwigType I’m my own client. I enjoy most the initial sketching, finding an idea, playing with shapes, do experiments. I also like the second step: turn the ideas into a working alphabet. Completing the whole family is not so much fun though, but after many months of work it’s very satisfying to see the final typeface, and use it for the promo material.

Do you work solely as a typography designer or make some graphic design as well? What aroused your passion to fonts?

I used to work as a graphic designer, but not anymore. I think what I like in type design is the reduction (quite basic shapes in black and white), paired with the cultural importance, long history, and mysterious science of reading. I like that it’s not only about nice shapes, but also has an almost scientific, but certainly cultural part.

Do you read any magazines about graphic and type design? What sources acquaint you with the latest trends and new works in a creative field?

I’m not much interested in latest trends. With the internet it’s anyway almost impossible not to see them. I prefer reading books about type and design, and looking at specimens and early prints. Here one can find more inspiration than in current design trends.

Who are the typographers in Germany whose work you find inspiring?

I’m in the lucky position to work with 86 year old type legend Georg Salden, one of the most important figures in German type design. I digitize and expand his typefaces and distribute them exclusively on TypeManufactur. Already as a student I loved his type designs, and I still get excited by his typefaces.