Perpetuum mobile

Now23 ✚
A first-generation digital type designer, Fred Smeijers has a career like few others: embracing the analogue and high-tech, research and self-expression, history and contemporaneity. Smeijers is a problem-solver and a fierce believer in sharp pencils, versatility, and hard work. And, just when you’d expect him to deliver unique solutions by cranking up the latest digital tools, he’ll pull off his sleeve crystal-clear ideas that are rooted in the past, but shaped for the future. You might wonder: is this at all possible? Smeijers proves it is and inspires the new generations of designers to push boundaries, too.


Interview ✚

Fred Smeijers is a Dutch type designer, researcher, educator, and author. Educated at the school of art in Arnhem, he worked as a typographic advisor to the reprographic company Océ, then became a founding member of the graphic design practice Quadraat, which provided the name for his first published typeface (FontFont, 1992). Among the most versatile contemporary type designers, Smeijers has a whole range of distinctive typefaces to his credit, such as: Renard (TEFF); Nobel (DTL); Arnhem, Fresco, Sansa, Custodia, Ludwig, Monitor, and Puncho — first published by OurType, the font label that he co-founded and led as creative director from 2002 to 2017.

In 2008 Fred Smeijers partnered with typographer Corina Cotorobai to establish Type Tailors - a firm specialising in proprietary type design, software, and typographic consultancy for brands and product manufacturers. Type Tailors’ portfolio of custom type designs include bespoke typefaces and lettering for Philips Electronics, Philips Medical Systems, Philips Lighting, Canon-Europe, Tom-Tom, Samsung, Pictet, Bentley, and Porsche – type-directed, designed, and produced at Type Tailors (the latter was co-designed with fellow type directors Hendrik WEBER, Corina COTOROBAI, and Thomas THIEMICH).

Fred’s first book - Counterpunch - has been published by Hyphen Press in 1996, followed by the second edition in 2011 and translations into French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese. In 2001 Smeijers was awarded the Gerrit Noordzij Prize for outstanding contribution to type design, part of which was a book about his work – Type Now (Hyphen Press, 2003). In 2016 the Society of Typographic Aficionados awarded Smeijers the SOTA Typography Award.

Smeijers is a research fellow at Plantin Museum in Antwerp, professor in typeface design at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig, professor in typeface design at University of Reading, and visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague.

Fred Smeijers co-founded TYPE BY and joined it with a comprehensive collection of TYPE BY SMEIJERS: Haultin, Mersey, Blatt, Arnhem, Arnhem Fine, Arnhem Display, Bery Roman, Bery Script, Bery Tuscan, Custodia, Fresco, Fresco Sans, Fresco Informal, Fresco Script, Ludwig, Monitor, Puncho, Quadraat, Quadraat Sans, Quadraat Sans Mono, Sansa, Sansa Slab, Sansa Soft, and Greco* (*co-designed with Pierre Pané-Farré).

More people
Join us on 3 June 2023 to listen to international speakers representing various spheres of the world of typography and design.

Our conference (in English) brings together typography enthusiasts, graphic designers, art directors and type designers. We seek to explain how typography has a visible impact on the world around us. Come to Paris to attend talks by international speakers around graphic design, web design, motion design, publishing, visual identity, communication and type design. It is important to create platforms to let various universes communicate about their love of typography in their everyday practise.

Register Now!
€ 170

Discover the 17 guests, talks schedule and the free workshop