28 june 2021 — walhalla
Grammato awarded

German Design Award for Grammato:
expressive writing with dynamic letters

After having already won awards in New York and Tokyo, we have once again been awarded a prestigious international prize, the German Design Award Gold. Underware received this award for their invention of a new way of writing, writing with dynamic letters. This makes it possible for authors as well as designers to manifest themselves more expressively through text.

Until now, texts have always been either handwritten or typed using a static font. With grammatography, Underware introduces a third way of writing that combines both worlds: the expressive possibilities of handwritten text combined with the accessibility of digital texts. This allows search engines to still recognize, index and translate these personal texts, but also creates the ability to influence the expression of the letters: the “tone” of the text.

Using the Higher Order Interpolation technique developed by Underware, it is possible to deform letters in such a way as to create a new form of expression that is not possible with static letters. This was recently shown at the exhibition From Typography to Grammatography at the Print Gallery in Tokyo. As Akiem wonders: “Why can’t letters be deformed and played the same way music is played with a piano?” Because this new technology is based on the existing technological standard of digital letters, it can be applied in any software environment. From social media to operating systems, from apps to interfaces, from smartphones to washing machines.


The dream of the writing machine
The desire for a writing machine and a more expressive use of letters is not new. For example, the French watchmaker Jaquet Droz built a writing doll as early as 1770, and Steve Jobs presented the first Macintosch with the now legendary computer-written demo “insanely great” to the public in 1984. The major difference with grammatography is that in those two cases it was only a simulation. With grammatography, the dream of a writing machine – a machine that can write as beautifully as a human – is now finally realized, available on any computer.

Enthusiastic reception
“Why is writing with letters as static today as it was with Gutenberg 500 years ago? It’s 2021, right?”, Bas asks himself. The judges of the Type Directors Club in Tokyo and also New York, and of the German Design Award in Frankfurt also saw this as true, which is why they independently awarded grammatography. In their view, grammatography will have a great impact not only on the future of written language, but above all on the idea of writing as such.


In case you have questions, or want to know more, just contact us.
German Design Award: https://www.german-design-award.com

28 may 2021 — walhalla
Summer workshop BAM BAM BAM

Workshop introduction to type design

This 3-day workshop offers designers the opportunity to delve further into type design, while at the same time investigating the relationship between spoken and written language. How does sound relate to writing?

This workshop is aimed at young graphic designers who want to develop their typographic skills further by immersing themselves in the design and creation of their own typeface. In this 3-day workshop, in which sketches will be made alternately on paper and digitally, the basic principles of type design will be explained, and a digital font will eventually be made. But since letters can also be a visual representation of spoken language, during this process other possibilities to represent spoken language & sound on paper, beyond the existing conventions, will simultaneously be investigated.

Despite the fact that designing a font family usually takes several years, this entire process will be covered in a bird’s eye view during the workshop in just 3 days. Just BAM BAM BAM.

Skill level
Experience with drawing bezier outlines is desirable, for example in Illustrator or another comparable drawing program.

What do you need to bring?
• Laptop (preferably with OSX)
• Pencils, pens and markers
• Sketch paper
• Tape & scissors

€95,– for pros
€75,– for students

• Apply until 18 July 2021
• Workshop will be held in English
• Lunch is included
• Max 15 participants
• Participants will be selected based on motivation
• Location: Ingehousz Breda, the Netherlands

Applications can be made until the 27th of June at graphicmatters.nl

07 may 2021 — walhalla
Stad zoekt kunst

It started with a spontaneous action 3 weeks ago, a manifestation at the Museumplein in Amsterdam to break the absence of art in lockdown times. We helped out the organisation by casually writing personal ads on location, allowing participants to walk around with their own message in XXL size. One writing tool, one colour, no planning, no time to waste, 100% action, pure speed.



28 may 2020 — walhalla
Underware in motion

At Underware we often talk about stuff. And that stuff could be anything, it’s whatever we discuss at that moment. This is probably born out of our lack of mastery of the English language 20 years ago when we called almost everything stuff, but the word stuck in our conversations and became useful in some sense too. So let’s talk about stuff here.

In this case the stuff could be an identity, or a brand, a company, a group, an organisation or institution, or just a text. Lots of different stuff, basically anything which is graphically (re)presented. While representing this stuff, motion has become a default part of the characteristics of this stuff in digital media. Half a century ago designers had to consider the visual representation mainly only in static media. When a designer had created a poster/corporate identity/book/other media with a strong own identity, that stuff could have a successful life of its own. But in today’s world, this isn’t always the case anymore. There can be more to the stuff today. As anything can move in unstable media, it’s important to define how stuff moves. Your move is different than my move, in the same way as your dance is different than my dance, and your handwriting is different than mine.

20 may 2020 — walhalla
Buiten Bios

We’re over 2 months into the Corona crisis, and it’s still a different world than we used to know. But instead of noticing what’s currently not possible, why not focusing on what actually is possible at the moment? Yesterday it was announced that the Dutch regulations are going to being eased from the 1st of June on. So if you’re around Amsterdam: every Friday in June there is the Buiten Bios, an open-air cinema on the rooftop of our Amsterdam studio building. Starts at sunset, max 30 visitors. Be welcome at Tugela85. Tickets are on sale now: https://tugela85.nl/activiteiten/1084/t85-buitenbios

25 september 2019 — walhalla
Grammatography exhibition Tokyo

We write 6 September 2019. Is there a better way to introduce grammatography than with an exhibition at Print gallery in Tokyo? Don’t think so. A small exhibition with big ideas, a small lecture and big guests, a small projection which fits Hiragana and Latin into a single variable letter and a big smoke machine. A big stop at our small Right To Write Tour 2019. Sounds by the Dutch artist Rob Bothoff, Liza Y, a single letter opening speech and good beer and good talks. What else should we say?

(More photos at this Flickr album)

14 april 2018 — walhalla
Say hi to hoi

Say hi to Higher Order Interpolation. Since the introduction of variable fonts in 2016, interpolation became increasingly important. During the TYPO Labs 2018 conference in Berlin we briefly reevaluated the current interpolation technique and demonstrated another way of interpolation typefaces. Until today interpolation in type design has been linear, but this limitation should belong to the past. In case you are interested in the technical side of making (variable) fonts, read the case study: Higher Order Interpolation for Variable Fonts. The basic principles of more advanced interpolation in variable fonts, explained without the complicated math.

04 february 2018 — walhalla
Now or never typeworkshop

Our typeworkshop website may still be in coma at the moment, the workshops themselves have always continued and are alive as never before. Last year we gave 5 typeworkshops, from Baltimore and Detroit in the USA, to Wrocław in Poland, and São Paulo & Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. This week our first typeworkshop-stop of 2018 is at Sint Lucas in Ghent, also known as the Berlin of the Belgian type scene. We hope to make some new people enthusiastic about letters. It’s gonna be Now or never on the 5th and 6th of February.

30 january 2018 — walhalla
Behind Duos


Warning: this movie is longer than 15 seconds. Even longer than two minutes. And there is a good reason for this. Developing fonts is a tedious task, at least in our case. To give a certain clue of time: making Duos, our latest font release, took two more years than we originally planned. In case you are interested to see and hear what’s involved in making the font family Duos, just watch this presentation that Akiem and Bas held at ATypI Montreal. Thirty minutes of slow TV for a fast font.

Prefer reading instead of watching? Only want to spend a few minutes instead of half an hour? Those people who are interested in ambiguous shapes, monolinear design problems, writing speeds or coding, will also enjoy reading the story behind Duos.

30 june 2017 — walhalla

Today is the last day of our ASCII+ Week, celebrating the introduction of Zeitung Mono. Earlier this week we turned our homepage into Responsive ASCII and showed you Subpixel ASCII+ art. But we hear you saying: “yeah yeah, an ASCII website is nice, but we want ASCII movies!” So we give you ASCII movies. But then: Responsive ASCII movies of course.

Introducing ASCII TV

You can change the resolution by enlarging or reducing the window size, or by using the controllers. Also: change the color of the movie by varying between Light to Extrabold styles.

Get popcorn & drinks and enjoy your private responsive ASCII Movie Night. Please find a nice, personal selection of movies worth watching at Zeitung’s ASCII TV. More than enough for a satisfying movie evening with your friends. (If you like to see other movies in ASCII, let us know)



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