Spring 2019

Originality and inspiration

It may be unrealistic to expect that every new typeface will be unique and original, but giving up this ambition leads to stagnation

Going down the list of the highest grossing movies of 2018, you will find that seven of the top ten were sequels within existing film franchises, and three were adaptations of existing comic book characters. Number eleven was a remake, and it is not until you get to number twelve that you find an original movie.


The list of bestselling fonts at MyFonts, the world’s largest font retailer, offers a similar outlook. The list is dominated by remakes of the classics: Helvetica Neue, Avenir Next, Proxima Nova, FF DIN, followed by new takes on established genres. Helvetica, even though it comes pre-installed with every major operating system, or perhaps because of this, has dominated the bestseller list for many years.

Although the film and type design industry are widely different in many ways, their approaches are strikingly similar …

Orientation, released 
by Commercial Type. 
Design: Sandrine Nugue, 2018.
Top: Heldane
, released by Klim Type
. Design: Kris Sowersby, 2018.


Peter Biľak, designer, Netherlands

Read the full version in Eye no. 98 vol. 25, 2019


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues. You can see what Eye 98 looks like at Eye Before You Buy on Vimeo.

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