24 september 2020 — presentations
Grammatography FTW


15-minute introduction to grammatography

If you’ve never heard about grammatography, but if you are interested in writing, fonts, scripts, or typography, then this presentation about a new way of writing is for you.

This 15-minute introduction to grammatography was broadcast 25 Sept 2020 during the Typewknd-conference, and is now available for anybody to watch. The video is accompanied by a quick write-up for even better understanding of this new subject. For 🤯 check the complete case study Grammatography!

(ps. Original trailer here)

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

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.

27 may 2020 — fonts in use
Fakir loves beer

Some people love books, others love shoes, music, surfing, football, chilling, bird watching, scrabble, witchcraft or metal detecting. We love letters. Everybody is different, but in the end we all love beer. To celebrate that it’s beer which unites such a large part of the world, we collected some beer labels set in our typeface Fakir. Apparently black letters are a thing in the beer cosmos, maybe even more than in gangster rap. Beer must have black letter, or it ain’t real. In case you still have any doubts that it’s really black letter & beer which unite the world, here are a few examples of Fakir in use on beer labels from across the globe.


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

15 november 2019 — publications

The publication 26 is a speculative 26th chapter of the book Theory of Type Design by Gerard Unger (22 Jan 1942-23 Nov 2018). Despite that the number 26 will always remain a benchmark in the Latin type world, Unger’s book about those Latin letters only consists out of 25 chapters. As Gerry Leonidas describes it in his foreword, Unger’s book “offers a reference point for the design community to respond to, and, not least, for other authors to contribute further.” So did Gerard Unger deliberately not include a 26th chapter? Is this book actually a request for other type designers to respond to? Can Unger’s choice for writing 25 chapters be regarded as an open invitation for anybody to write their own version of the missing 26th chapter themselves? We hope to read many 26th chapters by other type designers in the future, which will keep Unger’s spirit of writing on type design alive. Bring on the responses. Our 26th chapter is this publication.

The text in this publication is an elaboration of the talk Underware held during the book presentation on 6 September 2018 at the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. 26 was written and published by Underware on the occasion of TypeAmsterdam 2019.

Win a free copy!
We’re giving away 26 copies of the publication 26. For free! And we really mean “free” as in free. No hidden meanings, which is almost an exception these days. We’ll randomly pick 26 addresses from those who apply, and then we’ll ship the publication for free. This publication is not for sale. With other words: this is your only chance.

If you want to participate in this raffle and win a free copy of this publication, make sure you send your name & full postal address before 22 November 2019 to info@underware.nl and mention “I wanna win 26!”. Winners will be notified before 1 December.

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

29 october 2019 — presentations
Into the Void – Berlin Triptych III

On Friday 8 November 2019 we’re gonna complete our Berlin Triptych, with a lecture at Creative Mornings in Berlin. In the past 2 years we gave a lecture once a year in Berlin which was part of a triptych. What started in 2017 with the first lecture “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old”, was followed by the second lecture in 2018 titled “Export Future”. The triptych will now be completed with the third and last lecture in this series titled “Into the Void”.

Three lectures filled with developments, ideas, concepts, approaches, sketches, thoughts, perspectives, and mostly questions, in this case focused on letters, but they apply to other subjects too. During the first 2 lectures of this Berlin Triptych various typographic ideas – for example Font Fiction, Higher Order Interpolation or the SuperFont™ – were introduced. Next week Friday we gonna see where this journey will end up.

If you missed out on the first 2 lectures, don’t worry. You can either still do your homework and watch them online before you attend (see links above), or completely surprise yourself and attend the third lecture without any previous knowledge. We’ll leave that up to you.


Into the Void
Underware’s Berlin Triptych III

Venue: Creative Mornings Berlin
Date: 8 November; 08:30 o’clock
Location: Native Instruments, Schlesische Str. 29-30, Berlin

Tickets will be on sale from Monday 4 November 10:00 o’clock at the Creative Mornings website: Register.

If you’re in the mood to join us on our typographic trip, we would enjoy seeing you in Berlin next week. (And we would like to thank Jürgen Siebert for enabling Underware’s Berlin Triptych)

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)

12 september 2019 — presentations
Grammatography lecture


We’ve just returned from our Right To Write Tour in Japan. Besides of an exhibition at Print Gallery in Tokyo, and a workshop at the Temple University in Tokyo, we gave 4 lectures in Tokyo and Osaka in which we presented grammatography, and introduced Grammato.com. Instant updates during the tour don’t happen on this blog, but on our Twitter or Instagram account. So follow those in case you want to see more snippets. However, for those who are curious to know more about grammatography, the video of our talk titled Grammatography at the ATypI conference in Tokyo is now online. Featuring live writing, as future is written. Enjoy! (ps. At the interpreter’s request we tried to speak slowly…)

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