During our brand development process in 2019, we paid meticulous attention to our typographic expression which led to creating our own custom font for the timecode, our number system that’s on every single product
We thought of the concept behind the timecode, and how it represents the present moment as the “balance” between past and future.
The timecode acts as a reminder to promote the importance of the present moment, the balance. In this article, we will share our interview with Mads Wildgaard, principle of type foundry Bold Decisions.
As the representation of the past, we picked the font familiar to us on credit card numbers: OCR. The typeface OCR-A was created by American Type Founders in 1968 as a font to be recognized by both the computer of that time and humans. It was one of the first optical character recognition typefaces to meet the criteria set by the U.S. Bureau of Standards at the time. As the font was used in many of the financial technologies, intō incorporates it as a representation of the past, the value of early age computers and capitalism.
Credit: OCR a new way with words 1979
LARS MONO TYPEFACE
As the representation of the freshness and advancement, another font incorporated was Lars Mono delivering the energy of high conscious value of the future. Lars Mono typeface was designed by Bold Decisions as a mission to create a simple and neutral font.
COMBINATION OF THE TWO FONTS
After rounds of detailed modifications and reviews between Bold Decisions, Wax Studios and the intō design team, the ideal combination of the two fonts gave birth to our custom typeface: intō mono. Here is an interview with Mads about stories behind the development of intō mono.
Photo: Marcelo Gomes
PLEASE INTRODUCE BOLD DECISIONS, WHEN AND HOW IT ALL STARTED?
Bold Decisions launched in Arnhem, 2015. Following my graduation at the Rietveld Academie, it seemed like the right time to make a move and make something happen with the many sketches I had floating about. The hardest part about launching something is in fact just clicking ‘upload’ and going public, so even though it’s such a small step, it was a ‘bold’ decision and so the name checked out. Here we are 7 years later, operating out of Jeju-Do, South Korea.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE FIRM?
Me, Mads Wildgaard. I get occasional help from freelancers and lawyers for smaller and bigger tasks, but the day to day is a pretty simple one man operation. I act as Barista, HR, PR, CFO. No complaints so far.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING BOLD DECISIONS FOCUSES ON?
Releasing stable products in a variety of scripts that are visually pleasing to myself. Then being a good partner to my better half, and finally surfing a few times a week. No really, in a world where so many young talented designers constantly push out something visually amazing and unseen fonts, it’s important to me to cater to the other side. The companies, the institutions, the Greeks, the Ukranians, the Albanians, The Basques and anything else. I also design cyrillic, greek and hangul fonts.
One of the inspirations for into mono: "Today" series by On Kawara
INSPIRATION BEHIND THE INTO MONO: OCR AND LARS MONO, TELL US ABOUT BOTH OF THE FONTS AND HOW THEY WERE MERGED TOGETHER?
Both ideas are somehow diametric oppositions, as OCR fonts hail from one time in our technological history, and Lars is only possible due to the fact we’ve progressed since then.
Lars is basically an exercise I gave myself to make something neutral and simple, but when you give yourself that task it becomes utterly impossible to create something truly neutral. In the end it became more like a mirroring of what my skills were, and to this day still is as I progress. The Mono version of Lars is simply the ‘mono’ version. A version that’s supposed to mimic the design based on the technologic restraints of early OCR fonts and typewriter faces. A skeuomorphic design so to say.
Prototype testing by Wax Studios
WHAT WERE THE STEP BY STEP PROCESSES OF THE DEVELOPMENT?
First, the visual similarities had to be located, and then changed — first way too much, and then with the help of the commissioners, Wax Studios, took a few notches back to something more ‘digestible’. I think we did 8 rounds of iterations or so, which turned out to be just what it needed.
into mono development in progress
WAS THERE SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTO MONO? IF SO, WHAT WAS IT?
I realized in the process that there definitely were some directions I had left unexplored in the development of the original Lars Mono. Which in itself didn’t change my stance to the original font, but it definitely had an influence on the next Mono fonts I worked on.
into mono final presentation (From wax-studios.com)
WHAT WOULD BE THE MOST EXCITING MOMENT IN THE PROCESS OF CREATING A CUSTOM TYPEFACE?
Definitely first pitch. Two/three years ago I completed the new font and logo for Jo Malone London, which was my dream job, because from my presentation of the first pitch I was completely trusted to do what I wanted to. It shines through it now how much trust I was given. Collaborations that smooth come once in a lifetime.
Credit: Twitter @bold_decisions
AFTER SPENDING TIME DEVELOPING A CUSTOM FACE, HOW DOES IT FEEL TO LET IT GO, TO SEE IT BE IN USE?
It’s always strange. Seeing any of my previous works now in public either hurts or feels good. Either you see something that matters, or it lays there two beautiful designs becoming one.