Martin Vácha — Displaay Type Foundry
Prague based Type-designer & Design-director in Displaay Type Foundry, formerly Graphic-designer.
Since I was a kid, I was always into drawing. I used to publish a daily comic at my elementary school entrance. Drawing was always an exciting activity for me. When I was older, I picked Graphic Design, which was something you could learn at the university. In my early years of working, something always drew me to type. Typography is hard but also does not require a lot of resources to start.
I get up around 8 o’clock, then I walk ten minutes to my studio in the old town of Bern. First, I prepare my mate tee; I used to live my twenties in Chile and Uruguay. Then I start with emails, and later I am developing further my current type design project. I try to always have one single project at the time.
Before lunch, a yoga break and then working until 17 o’clock. After work, I pick up my daughter from kindergarten, and then I make a tasty dinner. In the evenings, I enjoy the time with my wife or meet some friends in the city.
I have a quite plain office, with a book collection, desk and large monitor and a regular laser printer. I mainly design my typeface in the application Glyphs.
Inspiration can come from a lot of places; urban landscape, hand made signings or old books. I love to snoop around flea markets when I am travelling. A great starter for a new typeface can be an abstract conceptual idea. Conversations with friends who are not working in the visual field can also be inspiring.
I love the design of the Moka Express, the iconic espresso machine from Bialetti. A unique piece of design from my childhood which I still use every day. It is the perfect blend of functionality, industrial production and humour.
I see my work as a sum of all its individual parts. I am proud of my long-term relations with my clients which are using my typefaces. Hearing their feedback makes me happy and thankful.
It is sometimes hard to handle the whole office-side with me-designing-new-typefaces-side. Losing focus is easy when switching between two tasks. However, I am getting better at this.
Something I learned so-far is; excellence comes with an investment of time. It is important to start somewhere, my early work was not refined from my point of view today. I published my first three typefaces back in 2013, since then I reworked and reworked these fonts. It was essential to get into a dialogue with users, this was the only way to progress my skills. So, my advice is; don’t be shy, start somewhere and try to improve constantly.
Sure, I have a website with all my typefaces, free trial versions and an interesting blog.