From [ga] to [hih]

History and usage of the Hangeul writing system

Although undeniably extraordinary, the Korean writing system Hangeul is quite unknown outside of the Korean language region; eventually, Korean is the only language visualized with Hangeul. It is custom-made for the phonetics and construction of Korean language, using a revolutionary but consequent design vocabulary based on a philosophic background and aiming for scientific and socio-political goals.

On more than 300 pages, the book allows for an overview of these and and many more aspects of propably one of the youngest writing systems of human kind. Its fascinating development can be traced using relatively concrete dates and documents. A vast number of explanatory notes and illustrations enrich the popular scientific texts in English language. The simplicity of the Korean alphabet steadily is to the fore of the whole design.

Bachelor thesis, supervised by Prof. Eva Kubinyi.

The book is wrapped in a sleeve, providing more value to the kept simple appearance. The sewing thread approximates the typical Korean binding.

Heavy contents are explained in rather simple »typographical illustrations«.

All of Hangeul’s 11,172 syllables are displayed in the register of syllables, together with their transliterations and Unicode code points.

The book introduces a color coding to distinguish transcriptions as well as Korean and Chinese characters.


Prototypical first issue of a bookazine series

By mixing elements of books and magazines arises a new kind of publication which puts a new value into the evanescence of magazines – a book object that does well on the shelf or desk. At the same time, the project functions as a series and gives the opportunity for new topics with the release of a new issue.

The contents compare to the typical columns of weekly newspapers – politics, economy, society, science, culture and nature –, and focus on a specific country per issue. The series starts with Japan which differs quite a bit from Western society and as such offers unexpected insights.

The contentual requirement of a plain and sober perspective is capture in the overall design: The simplicity of the layout is contrasted by typographical accents and detailed illustrations, providing a glimpse of the considered region. Special highlight is the bookazine wrapper which unfolds to a A0 poster presenting the topics of the issue.

Joint project with Kai ter Horst and Simon Thiefes.

The cover introduces the six colors used for each of the columns.

Articles begin with an illustrated spread.

Text and illustrations do not mix with each other as the latter are turned 90 degree counter-clockwise throughout the the bookazine.

In the midst of the 230 page publication is enough space even for an illustrational series.

Workshop: letterpress printing

Learning the craft of physical typesetting

Setting type by hand reduces the possibilities in layout and typeface selection far more than one would expect. Even more numerous are the lessons one learns when getting the hands dirty trying to use basic design principles for communicating via print.

The workshop’s product were folders containing pages imprinted by the participants with thoughts about design and communication.

The workshop was conducted by Guillaume Goron.

By mixing wooden and metal letters, even self-cut typefaces were available for display size printing.

As the workshop was a test run for the refurnished letterpress atelier, printing was done on a proofing press.

While display size letters were available en masse, text sizes certainly were rare and in demand.

The participants printed thoughts and opinions on good design in rather classical layouts.


Development of a stencil font

Basing on an analysis of the classics Didot and Futura, a systematic stencil font was developed. At first only hand-drawn by using self-made stencils, it was soon digitalised.

As a proof of concept a wall calendar was assembled using the newly built typeface.

The workshop was conducted by Sandrine Nugue.

The font is pieced together from simple forms derived from Didot. At first, letters were hand-drawn using self-made stencils.

The hand-drawn letters provide a first glimpse on the later digitalised typeface.

In the process of designing with not more than eight basic elements it was necessary to invent a vast number of variants to find the best suiting option.

The digitalised version found its way onto a wall calendar as a specimen.

»Didotesque« works as a display font. In smaller sizes the balance between spacing in- and outside of the letter becomes a problem reducing legibility.

Systemschrift Schwitters

Implementation of new »optophonetic« alphabet developed by Kurt Schwitters

Out of the analysis of the »Systemschrift«, a sketch of a new, revolutionary alphabet developed by German artist and typographer Kurt Schwitters, arose an implementation which aims to use OpenType features to map the complex but systematic rules into a usable digital font.

In the end, the goal was not reached as implementation of the phonetically based rules turned out to be far too complex. Nonetheless, it may be the first digitalisation of Schwitters »optophonetic« characters since a similar font, »Architype Schwitters«, only has the standard Latin alphabet letters availabe.

The idea of Schwitters is to represent the speech sounds with systematically derived letters, each one uniquely interconnected, resulting in a kind of phonetic transcription.


Corporate design for an engineering office

After long years with a nearly unchanged appearance, RWTH Aachen University spin-off Fluidon required a modern and convenient corporate design to represent its core values.

In keeping the »engineer color« blue and transferring the old logo into a new and timely signet, change was kept in check. The consistent use of Frutiger Neue and Frutiger Serif as typeface and a blue colored bar at the bottom of each media establishes a new identity for a cutting-edge technology company.

While Frutiger Neue is used for logo and static elements, Frutiger Serif comes as the perfect running text companion.

Corporate materials include letter paper, books, pads, wall calendars, business cards and a website.

As Fluidon’s field of activity lays mainly in the consulting business, a functional presentation template is of major importance.

Dodi Serif

Classification-oriented typeface development

Surely, most newly developed typefaces claim to be innovative or even unique – and yet there are so many typefaces with nearly the same characteristics intended to be used in the same settings.

The process of developing Dodi Serif started with an analysis of existing typefaces and the search for »empty« fields when they are sorted into a table by their properties. It became obvious that the category of humanistic square fonts lacks members, thus Dodi Serif sets out to fill this gap.

»Dodi Serif« may be classified as a humanist sans serif with a squarish basis. Although not expanded extensively it works well as a text typeface.

The type provides a homogeneous type color thus qualifying for longer texts and even book layouts.

A showcase for theses at Faculty of Design at FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences

Following the newly developed corporate design of FH Aachen, the showcase website of the Faculty of Design was rebuilt in 2013.

The overall design is dominated by the individual projects which are shown to the public. There are optional functionalities such as tagging of the works, links between supervisors and space allocated for exhibition invitations.

The website clearly focuses on the presentation of the student’s projects.


Redesign of a public transport specialist magazine

The thing about specialist magazines is that most of them are stuffed with high quality content but the appearance suggests something very different. Such was the case with »Stadtverkehr«, a trade paper of the public transport sector.

When redesigning the publication, special attention was to be given to the requirements such as large data tables, big maps and technical annotations. All of these were compiled into a light, modern layout, providing enough flexibility to cope with both long, scientific texts and image-heavy stories.

The front page continues the use of red and yellow as trade mark colors. In doing so, it clearly marks the magazine as the successor of the pre-redesign appearance.

The layout includes a column only used for annotations and explanations like there are usually in this kind of magazines.

mordhorst products

Implementation of a B2B website

mordhorst products GmbH is a German medium-sized business supplying industrial piping products. Their portfolio consists of fully customizable products thus the main focus laid on the possibility to express individual requirements through the provided extensive forms.

Joint project with Simon J. Wolf.

Main purpose of the website is to invite the reader to get in touch about specialised piping products.


New corporate identity for the Formula Student team of RWTH Aachen University

Training some of the top-notch engineers in Europe, RWTH Aachen is the best place to host a student racing team. Unfortunately, most engineers are as bad in visual aspects as they are competent in technical.

Besides developing a new corporate design which picks up on the university’s fresh corporate design, the new identity includes corporate clothing, a new website and proper photographies to suit the needs of presenting a specialist topic to subject outsiders.

Joint project with Vera Heckmann and Niklas Geller.

The styleguide provides useful informatione for the implementation of the newly developed corporate identity, even by unexperienced users.

The identity provides two logo variants: a type-only solution for small size usecases, and a combinded word and design mark which resembles the shape of the racing car.

CorneliusCup ’12

Poster design for a youth football event

The parish-organized football tournament »CorneliusCup« had its second performance in 2012. As an addition to the invitation letters, posters were put up all over the diocese.

These posters put the basic condition of the game at the heart of their design, that is, the green the game is played on.

The poster suggest a kind of cutout letters allowing for a view on the playground – the green.

The invitational poster for the after party was designed analogously.