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Type-Ø-Tones / News /

The Type-Ø-Tones are now part of TypeNetwork

Inspired by vernacular lettering and the art found everywhere, the Type-Ø-Tones are known for their eclectic typographic explorations, and their gift for turning collaboration into an art form all its own.

As autumn kicks into high gear in the Northern Hemisphere, the days may be growing shorter, but our appetite for great new type never wanes. We’re excited to once again expand the Type Network family with the addition of a wonderful new foundry partner—the Type-Ø-Tones from Spain.

Type-O-Tones
Type-Ø-Tones

Guapa was born from a personal experiment: Laura Meseguer’s transformation of a geometric sans serif à la Futura into a charming postmodern deco design. Guapa’s discretionary ligatures, alt characters, and four sets of capitals offer enhanced opportunities for typographical experimentation. The moniker is well-suited to the playfully elegant face—guapa means “pretty” in Spanish.

In the early 1990s, a common passion for letterforms and type design brought together Catalan creatives Laura Meseguer, José Manuel Urós, Joan Barjau, and Enric Jardí. Together, they formed Type-Ø-Tones, an independent foundry dedicated to crafting an eclectic collection of display types for varied applications.

During the foundry’s formative years, the Type-Ø-Tones built a library inspired by childhood memories and recollections of vernacular letterforms. The sympatico co-founders experimented conceptually and traversed unexplored territories in type design, infusing their diverse personalities into each release.

Type-Ø-Tones

Inspired by pointed pen and copperplate calligraphy, Magasin is a high-contrast display typeface with a retro-chic twist. Meseguer combined script sensibilities with a slightly condensed geometric structure, resulting in the idiosyncratic curves that softly connect Magasin’s vertical forms. The typeface boasts capital swashes and a robust suite of OpenType features, including Ligatures, Stylistic Alternates, Contextual Alternates, and Final Forms.

Over time, the designers became more serious about their typographic endeavors, paying careful attention to changes in technology and how best to develop their typefaces. They expanded their repertoire to include thoughtful text faces and graceful scripts. But the key ingredient in the Type-Ø-Tones formula remains most evident today: a spirit of playfulness. You can see the vibrancy and great sense of fun in their work, and in how they work together.

Type-Ø-Tones

Type-Ø-Tones co-founders José Manuel Urós (Josema) and Laura Meseguer in the latter’s Barcelona studio.

The Type Network Type Congress thoughtfully chooses its foundry partners. Quality and diversity of offerings are considered, and the Type-Ø-Tones collection is a welcome enhancement to our catalog. As much as we focus on showcasing the work and stories of talented designers, we also work closely together on a variety of projects. Those of us who have come to know and respect the members of the Type-Ø-Tones over the years felt that their continuing thirst for typographic knowledge, their positive attitudes, and their strong work ethic would add something special to the mix.

Type-Ø-Tones

The latest type family by Urós, DINosaur is a revival of sorts, based on a style found in a technical calligraphy manual for industrial lettering. The design is evocative of an era where industrial labeling was typically drawn freehand or by ruling with stenciled alphabets. DINosaur’s rounded terminals become most evident in the bolder weights at larger sizes, imbuing the precisely drafted design with a warmth suitable for page and screen.

Meseguer and Urós have taken over as principals of Type-Ø-Tones, working in partnership to take the foundry into future. Their longevity in the digital type world, their ability to adapt to changes in the field, and the continual expansion of their involvement in the type community are a testament to their efforts to hone their craft, to learn, and to nurture relationships developed with their co-founders and design partners over time.

“We are lucky to have Laura and Josema join the Type Network family,” said Paley Dreier, general manager of Type Network. “They are special people and this is reflected in their work. I’m truly looking forward to seeing how our customers put their typefaces to use.”

Type-Ø-Tones
Type-Ø-Tones

Meseguer’s first extensive type family, Multi was originally commissioned in 2011 by a publisher of Dutch regional newspapers to match the serif typefaces used for a comprehensive layout overhaul project. Multi Text comprises three weights (roman and italic), while Multi Display offers seven weights in roman and italic. Multi lies between humanist and glyphic; the design is pragmatic, yet not rigid, and graced with tiny incised touches.

We hope you’ll join us in welcoming the Type-Ø-Tones to the Type Network family. We’ll be talking in depth about their typefaces in the coming months, and they’ll share their thoughts on type and design. More intriguing Type-Ø-Tones faces are in the works—stay tuned.