Netflix’s Abstract With Type Designer Jonathan Hoefler

Early in his episode of the Netflix series about design, Jonathan Hoefler describes the act of type design as a sleight of hand. It’s the job of typographers like himself, he explains, to pay attention to the details that no else notices or knows to care about. There are all sorts of things to consider: counters, overshoots, anisotropic contrast, that “diabolical S.”

Type design is indeed a dark and confusing art to anyone outside of the niche field, which makes Hoefler an intriguing designer for the mass-consumer Abstract to profile. Throughout the episode, Hoefler successfully reminds viewers that typography is everywhere and that it takes a lot of effort (and a not-insignificant amount of neurotic attention to detail) to make sure the words you’re reading on this very screen don’t scar your eyeballs with unbalanced shapes and mismatched stroke widths.

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