15 july 2022 — out now
Plakato Moiré

 
New possibilities with COLRv1
Just as with Plakato One Two, which we published earlier this week, this version of a coloured Plakato font shows again new typographic possibilities. Plakato Moiré takes advantage of the option to include transparency within a font. Combined with variable paint tables, this allows for eye shocking letters.

Moiré effect
Moiré effects have caused printers and photographers many headaches. The effect of this interference pattern is caused by identical patterns which are slightly displaced. For example if one patterns is a tiny bit rotated. But instead of letting this cause us headaches, designers can also take this moiré effect as a starting point for their design. For example the Japanese artist Takahiro Kurashima published a couple of splendid books in recent years which take advantage of the moiré effect.

Plakato Moiré
We were curious to see what would happen if the moiré patterns would appear inside a letter. Plakato Moire introduces this method in the digital realm of variable OpenType fonts. By carefully limiting the variability of the font to the essential parameters of moiré — color, grid size, and layer rotation — Plakato Moire wants to provide maximum possibilities with a minimal set of parameters. All dynamic, all live within your browser. You can experience it yourself by influencing the parameters as you want.

▶ Please meet Plakato Moiré.

 

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06 july 2022 — out now
Plakato One Two

 
New possibilities with COLRv1
There are more and more possibilities with letters, also because technical possibilities have heavily improved in the past decade. You might have seen Plakato Color which was released half a year ago. That font family takes advantage of the wonderful new possibilities that the COLRv1 font format offers. However, that font family didn’t take advantage of the variable Paint table. This table allows you to change the colors, and the position of the colors, within (!) a letter.

Variable Paint table
We have now applied variable Paint tables in Plakato One Two. A close comparison with the old Plakato Color will reveal a big difference. Now you can not only change the colors, but also change the position of the color stops (the place where a certain color is located).

Plakato One Two
See it live! Instead of all this bla-bla, why not experience these new options yourself with the Plakato One Two demo? Make your own color! The demo allows you to apply your own colors to the color font and the background. But you can also play with the variable Paint table and experience it yourself. The future is bright colorful!

▶ Please meet Plakato One Two.

(visit the demo with a browser that supports COLRv1, like Chrome or Edge)

Thank you: We would like to thank you Peter Constable, Behdad Esfahbod, Laurence Penney, Dominik Röttsches, Adam Twardoch and Ben Wagner for their great support to make Plakato One Two possible.

16 march 2022 — out now
Homo Scriptus

Homo Scriptus, collection Printemps de la Typographie 2022
 

Homo Scriptus
Grammatographic haute couture available as NFT

On Thursday the 10th of March, our lecture ‘Homo Scriptus’ at the Printemps de la Typographie conference in Paris took place at the end of the Paris fashion week. This lecture was the final part of our Parisian Pen Triptych and ended with a fashion show of Homo Scriptus: Underware’s new label for grammatographic haute couture.

 

Lecture Homo Scriptus at Printemps de la Typographie 2022, Paris
 

Grammatographic haute couture
By adding an algorithmic layer on top of OpenType COLRv1 fonts, Homo Scriptus delivers, on the one hand, a typographic system that can be used and applied as any other font. But at the same moment each letter comes with its own dynamics and texture. For this first collection of Homo Scriptus, Printemps de la Typographie 2022, Underware worked closely with the Dutch fashion designer and artist Tessa Bekker. This collaboration led to 33 unique models, which are based on the general subject write, copy, play. All models are build upon the recently published typeface Plakato and are sold as unique NFTs on OpenSea.

Homo Scriptus as NFT
Based upon our experience with other new technological developments in the past, like variable fonts and color fonts, we believe in the benefit of staying curious. And while NFTs have led to many controversial opinions, it is interesting that most of them reflect on the usage of NFTs by some people (the financial aspect) and the shortcoming of the current technological implementation (the energy aspect). But considering that we have been using digital communication like PDFs and email already for many years – also because of ecological reasons – it seems somehow logical that a digital setup will take at the end fewer resources than one based on true products and deliveries. Therefore we decided to keep Homo Scriptus in the digital realm.

At the same time, it is interesting to look at the core principles of NFT, like decentralised distribution and smart contracts, and how they can be used to create a different relation between the maker and the owner. By distributing Homo Scriptus as NFT on OpenSea, we can guarantee on the one hand that the whole collection will always stay visible for everybody in the future, but at the same time create a possibility to engage for everybody who is interested in getting involved with us in this adventure. In the end, the future of NFT will be created just like the internet: it will become what we make out of it.

Homo Scriptus Haute Couture, Printemps de la Typographie 2022 Collection, Model PT2022-M1, courtesy Kenny Schachter, USA
 

OpenSea & digital haute couture
Each model of Homo Scriptus is for sale for €33 on OpenSea. Purchasing a model makes you the official owner of this model. If you have never used OpenSea before and do not have a digital wallet, we recommend using MetaMask. Once you have created an account, you can add Ethers (the cryptocurrency) with your credit card and you are ready to go.

In the recent months, more and more fashion brands added a virtual companion to their physical collection, allowing their customer to wear Haute Couture in the virtual space. And while it is also (theoretical) possible to wear Homo Scriptus in the purely virtual space, it is created with he idea to connect the virtual with the physical. Therefore each model is a pre-generated counting loop, which you can for example install on a watch. (If you are the owner of an NFT and are interested in wearing your model on an AppleWatch, please get in contact with us. We are happy to help you out.)

Explore the NFT collection on OpenSea.

05 january 2022 — out now
New font: Plakato Color

Digital fonts offer more and more possibilities compared to 30 years ago. A font can support multiple scripts, can provide typographic finesse through smart OpenType features, can be dynamic, and can also contain color.

While most fonts are colourless, or rather have only one colour that can be changed by the user, there are plenty of examples of fonts that do contain multiple colours. Emojis are the best known and most widespread examples.

Recently, a new standard has been published (COLRv1) that makes advanced colour fonts possible, with gradients and transparency. Today we release a set of fonts that take advantage of the new possibilities this font format offers.

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03 december 2021 — out now
New font: Plakato

Plakato is a small family of display fonts, where each style has its own characteristics. Plakato is the happy chap, a no-nonsense stencil font with a lot of additional powers, that amiable person you call for help when your message needs to be heard/seen.

Varying from a very fat stencil font family (sure, with flashy italics), up to a neon version, or a font which is constructed out of a few different building blocks in Plakato style. And did we already mention the digital nostalgia in Plakato Game (designed on a C64), and all those extra emoji’s and dingbats? Now we did.

Plakato is an identity toolkit, a heavyweight building block in case you need a strong personality, a small stencil font family to cut out your best ideas and grab all the attention.

Enjoy Plakato!

 

Introduction offer: Let’s Plaka-To-gether
Order the complete Plakato package, and get a free license for a friend.
This introduction offer runs until 31 Dec 2021.

(We don’t join the discount race to the bottom. We think it’s much nicer to make yourself happy and at the same time share your happiness with a friend. Together is always more fun than alone.)

03 december 2021 — out now
Plakato Play Compendium

 

The release of Plakato, a collection of eye-catching display fonts, was a two-stage rocket. A set of static fonts & set of dynamic fonts. The static and dynamic fonts share their design, but each dynamic font has its own specific motion and capabilities. Plakato Play is a versatile set of 8 ingenious variable fonts to play with. These variable fonts go beyond the now common width and weight axes and have their own dynamics designed for each style. This newly designed movement brings new possibilities for expression and interaction in text. (For more background, see also the case study The dynamification of typography).

In 1972, Karl Gerstner published his infamous book about the systematics of typography: Kompendium für Alphabeten. In the same spirit we now show, 50 years later, what the results of a systematic approach for OpenType Variable Fonts can be, on the basis of Plakato Play. The Plakato Play Compendium shows 26 possibilities for dynamic type.

Plakato Play Compendium

29 may 2020 — out now
Hand-drawn logotypes

Every thing has a name. What’s better to visually represent this thing than writing that name in appropriate letters? Our projects usually start with hand sketching, and end up and black and white shapes made out of bezier contours. We make lots of hand sketches, from doodles to detailed sketches, but almost none of them are directly visible in a digital end result. That’s not necessary at all, and even the digital lettering can be considered drawn by hand.

 

During the “stay at home & but also homeschool your kids & stay healthy at the same time” challenge of the past months, we found some time to add a whole bunch of new logotypes, letterings and mastheads to our website. The range of these applications is rather wide: from boat lettering to magazine mastheads to business logotypes. Some logotypes are in motion, others are static. Some required a months-long process, others were done in an afternoon. They can be for a large multinational, but also for an individual. Some of them are meant to build a brand, others are there for pleasure. The lettering itself might contain a secret visual bonus, and sometimes they are as easy as ABC. Sometimes they are made in cooperation with designers or art-directors, in other cases they are made directly for a client. But they all have at least two things in common: they all consist out of letters only, and we’ve drawn them all by hand.

 

We just love drawing letters by hand. This was also a good moment to update the logotype section of our website. Find 15 new projects which we made in the past years at underware.nl/logotypes

11 november 2019 — out now
New website: The Tail of the Tale

The Tale of the Tail is a narrative on letters, writing and language by Underware & friends. The 5000+ slides we’ve created for various recent lectures, together with the accompanying publications, as well as new content by others (like Kees ’t Hart) have been transformed into a single publication, making various thoughts and ideas on letters accessible in an entropic way. Talking about language, or writing on letters, is the tale of the tail of the tale of the tail… Watch and listen non-stop: thetaleofthetail.com

05 september 2019 — out now
Introducing Grammato

Until now, every text has either been written by hand, or typeset with a font. With Grammato, we’re introducing a third approach, combining the best of both worlds: beautiful, infinitely smooth written text, where text keeps its semantics. Grammato is built on standard technologies, so it just works everywhere. Wherever you’ve only been using fonts, you can now use Grammato: in apps, social media, videos, interfaces, devices, operating systems, everywhere!

We’re extremely happy and excited to announce the introduction of grammatography with Grammato ▶▶▶ www.grammato.com

26 june 2018 — out now
New fonts: Duos In-N-Out and Duos Write

Two new, very able, fonts!
The variable font format offers new typographic possibilities for type designers. Instead of creating separate static fonts, font families can be combined into a single font file for example. But this new font format has much more to offer. Type designers can also design typefaces specifically for this new format. New ideas for new technologies, instead of old ideas wrapped into those new technologies.

Our most recent font family Duos was already a technological tour de force, but is now expanded with 2 progressive variable versions.
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