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Adventures in Typography with Tony Brook & Claudia Klat

What is SPIN/Adventures in Typography? How did it come about?

Tony Brook: It was an itch that needed to be scratched. We’d been making a lot of experimental work, that wasn't necessarily featuring in commercial projects, but still wanted to explore further.

I wanted to carry on the conversation from the Spin 360° monograph – to carry on exploring creative possibilities for type, and there wasn't really a place in the book for that. Spin 360° was never meant to be an end, but more a conversation starter. So this is just the next stage of it.

Why the journal format?

Tony Brook: It’s just practical. It's not too expensive. It encourages us to keep on pushing and trying things. It's a relatively achievable format, and it's not another book.

Can you talk more about your inspiration and the process of developing these ideas.

Claudia Klat: It was actually a really nice process – we put ourselves in a situation where we physically experimented with typography and movement. We make much more than we need, or can use. So, in exploring the things that we’ve already made, we start making new things. And that’s how new ideas come along – we move from collating to being inspired, then back to making.

Tony Brook: I was watching Christoph Neimann (on Netflix’s Abstract) and he’s right when he says ‘Inspiration is for amateurs’. That professionals sit down and make things. That’s exactly what we did with this. We didn’t sit there staring out the window. We got hold of this idea, liked it, and started making, pushing forward and expanding on the ideas. It’s a weird combination of professional practice and playfulness.

What inspired the typeface names?

Tony Brook: Traditionally typeface names can be very grandiose like, Univers or Egyptian Slab Serif. Does it have its roots in Egypt? I've no idea … I’ve always liked the idea of poking fun at the names typefaces are given – and I also like racehorse names, and wanted to pick up on that oddness.

But here, in the journal, they're just bizarre descriptors of what you're looking at – like, John Lennon or Mmmiscellaneous Frogspawn. They're just silly names that have been inspired, quite often, by the form.

What type of conversations are you hoping to spark with SPIN/Adventures in Typography?

Claudia Klat: We want to share our process and the way we work – to give insight into what we do and what people don’t see. I hope people are surprised by the range, the diversity and playfulness, and are inspired to experiment themselves. It’s a really joyful part of my job – being creative and coming up with new things and pushing boundaries.

Tony Brook: Playing with type is something that designers do generally, because it’s just playing with form. The enjoyment of forms, playfulness, and invention.

Will there be more journals?

Tony Brook: We’re pushing around ideas at the moment. There are lots of different exciting things happening. We’ll start to work out what we find in this bit experiments and play.  

SPIN/Adventures in Typography [Unit 31]

SPIN: 360° [Unit 19]