Recapitulating Typostammtisch #75: Veronika Burian

On Wednesday, 11th April 2018, we established a new tradition, it seems: our second Typostammtisch-before-the-Labs was a huge success. No wonder, as we had Vik Burian as our generous speaker.

Benedikt Bramböck introducing Veronika Burian, who shared with us her story: “A (non) direct path to type design”.

We spent a wonderful evening with insights, intense exchange and beautiful encounters among colleagues, many of them arriving just in time, with luggage and everything. We were happy to note at least five type design student groups, from The Hague (NL), Lausanne (CH), Ljubljana (SL), Reading (UK), and St. Petersburg (RU) – next to our lovely local colleagues and Berlin Typostammtischstammgäste. Let me not forget to mention Gayaneh Bagdasaryan and Sol Matas who – not only on that evening – proved to be perfect additions to the Typostammtisch team. Plus many more helping hands (Dan, Daniel, Golnar, Tom, …) Thank you, everyone!

One of Veronika’s first encounters with Schrift as a school child.

A multilingual, multicultural background

There where two aspects of Veronika’s talk that impressed me most, which were probably also new to most of the audience: the more personal insights in her life and career path, and the recent development of her company, TypeTogether. Veronika was born in Prague (CZ). When she was young, her family moved to Munich (D) where she started her studies. She continued in Vienna (AT), then Prague again, and Milan (IT), then shortly in the US, some years in the UK (working in London at Dalton Maag), then… well, I lost track. At some point Vik moved to Spain, where she still lives today, renovating a house on the countryside with her partner – surely all her design skills flowing into that as well. For, interestingly, Veronika graduated as an industrial designer in Munich. She indulged into that, working in Vienna and Milan for renowned agencies. So, she learned everything about curves and forms and about designing industrial products, first, plus she continued working as a graphic designer, when she discovered her deep love for type.

Veronika Burian summarizing and explaining th guiding principles at TypeTogether, and their multicultural approach both in type design and in team building.

Also Veronika Burian’s business partner José Scaglione, from (and still based in) Argentina, had been interested in other artistic fields, as she reveals: we see Vik’s “partner in crime” in a photo with his band live on stage. Vik and José met at the Typeface Design master course in Reading (UK), graduating in 2003. They established and expanded a cross-border partnership; later on they found further companions perfectly fitting in – no matter where they are located. Today, their team at TypeTogether comprises 10 people on a steady basis plus contributing freelancers, living and working all over the world.

Teaming up at TypeTogether

In recent years, Veronika has been busy with her own type design projects but also with that expansion of her company and with the accompanying necessities. In addition to her own extensive travelling – as a lecturer, as a teacher providing workshops, as a profound and prolific type crit at conferences – more tasks have arisen. With a growing team, you need advanced managing and coordinating skills, plus take care of your communications. Like probably many in the audience I was astonished to hear that three people at TypeTogether are doing communications, not all the time, but constantly, contributing to the website, designing and producing (look at those beauties) type specimen and catalogues, writing on their corporate blog, interviews, social media, talks, you name it.

Very nice that so many TypeTogether people were in the audience. We spottet Irene Vlachou from Greece, for example, one of their senior type designers since 2013, designing new typefaces as well as contributing to existing projects. There was Roxane Gataud from France, who published Bely at TypeTogether due to their first (please note) Typeface Publishing Incentive Program; Roxane joined in as type and graphic designer in 2016. Well yes, the TypeTogether team reaches from Norway (Ellmer Stefan) to Israel (Adi Stern, Liron Lavi Turkenich) to the Netherlands, Germany, Austria to China (Dr Liu Zhao) to the US (Juliet Shen, Tom Grace, Dr Mamoun Sakkal), with Joshua Farmer as (I cannot not mention my colleague) TypeTogether’s copywriter and editor since 2015. It is impressive. Also the range, variety and quality of retail fonts at TypeTogether, plus they offer custom type, is both impressive and fun to explore – don’t miss, dear graphic designers!

Crowded house at LucasFonts.

In short: You might know Vik Burian, and you should know her award-winning typeface Maiola, but there is much more to discover about TypeTogether. Describing themselves as “an indie type foundry”, they are strongly “committed to excellence in type design with a focus on editorial use”. For further reading I warmly recommend to indulge into their Book Types – and into their excellent blog in general. Keep an eye on TypeTogether’s ways and work! They seem to be pacemaking.

Thank you dear Veronika for all these valuable insights.

Vik Burian and yours truely, enjoying her company – so happy we had her!
Gayaneh Bagdasaryan (of Brownfox foundry and Serebra Nabora conference, Moscow), who gave us a helping hand, in a relaxed end-of-the-evening conversation with Lucas de Groot.

Photos: Benedikt Bramböck, Lucas de Groot and Sonja Knecht.