TypeMedia 2021

TypeMedia is a type design masters program in the Netherlands and each year a graduating class of designers band together to make a little website showcasing their work. I get real excited for these because they’re always a delight and the work from 2021 is certainly no different. Shocking shapes! Curious, distorted glyphs! Gah!

Ivo Brouwer’s outrageously pretty typeface Surround is the one that caught my eye first though:

An example of the Surround typeface, showing how multiple letters can be stacked to let the colors of each bleed through

Holy woof, Batman! As soon as I saw this thing I wanted to plaster it on a million book covers and experiment with each of the different layers. Here’s how Ivo describes it:

Surround is a chromatic typeface system made for playful typesetting. It consists of 5 unique styles, that can be used both individual and superimposed.

Playful indeed. You can stack these letters on top of each other and get an imperfect, risograph zine-like-look. I think that you have to be pretty careful with the colors here though as some of the options feel really hard to read. Also: I would love to see a thinner version of Surround.

But—all of this is incredibly exciting (look at Zalfia!). And if you’re interested in learning more about what the course is like, you can read this piece by Stephen Nixon about what he learned at TypeMedia.