Fonts from Fust & Friends
We’re a group of text, typography and lettering lovers with a warm interest in good-looking language. Most of us are based in Berlin, where we participate in type-related activities and work on publications, videos, events – and fonts. The group is international: the first and second batches of typefaces have been, and are being, designed and produced by professionals from Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Britain, and Brazil.
Are we a foundry? You don’t have to be one any more in order to make and bring out typefaces. But you have to be serious about the craft, while having fun. So Fust & Friends occasionally publish fonts, focusing on colourful typefaces with some kind of pedigree. Faces with a story.
Who is Fust? Who wants to be his friend?
Johannes Fust was the first bad guy in type history. He was also very necessary for type history, in two ways. Not only did he bankroll Gutenberg’s workshop, R&D department and major bible production, he also sued him when there was no pay-back, or not fast enough. Had there not been any lawsuit, we might never have had any written record of who did what in the first years of book printing. Angel investor or ruthless capitalist? Maybe he was the other genius in the plot. Fust brought over Peter Schöffer, his adopted son, who was working as a calligrapher in Paris, to become Gutenberg’s assistant. Schöffer became the punchcutter that probably cut that gorgeous textura of the 42-line Bible. When the financial shit hit the fan, Schöffer became his adoptive father’s partner in the first successful printing office, working with hardware confiscated from poor Gut.
Attracted by the ambiguity of this key figure, we decided to pay him an equally ambiguous homage by giving his name to one of the shakiest ventures in the shaky history of Berlin typography.
Care to join?
Fust & Friends are looking for intriguing letterforms that would love to be made into fonts – forgotten letterpress faces, lettering pieces from European or Latin American streets, anonymous packaging from when packaging was a new concept. We are happy to collaborate with people to whom type design is a relatively new field, with pros who want to take a break from their functional text suites, or with lettering artists who’d like to help their alphabet become a font. Got a plan? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.