|FEATURED DESIGNER: GERT WIESCHER|
|Few – if any – type designers can say that they’ve been influenced by Giambattista Bodoni and Erik Spiekermann. Gert Wiescher can.
He met Spiekermann many years ago, while he was in school in Berlin. Wiescher was both overwhelmed and inspired by the phenom, and eventually ended up sharing a house with Spiekermann and his young family. “Without Erik’s constant advice and knowledge, all the well-intended typography classes would have been in vain, Wiescher recalls. “Erik taught me what to do with those theories in the real world. It was like having my private tutor right at home.”
One of Wiescher’s first typefaces was a revival of Bodoni’s work. He drew the first weights of his Bodoni Classic™ in the early 1990s and has been adding new members to the family ever since. Wiescher‘s revival was one of the first to capture the warmth and grace of the 18th century master’s letterforms. So far, he’s drawn a bevy of additional styles for the clan of typefaces. Just a few are Bodoni Classic Text, for long form copy, a delightful Bodoni Classic Chancery script, and even Deco, Stencil, Free Style and Swing variations. To this day he claims, “I am driven by Bodoni.” In fact, watch for Wiescher’s new Bodoni-Neo Classic that he says, “should be very useful as body copy since I’m going to make many intermediary cuts. Thinner designs for bigger copy, and designs with more open counters and sturdier strokes for small copy.”
But Wiescher doesn’t limit himself to Bodoni designs. He has over 250 typeface families available from Fonts.com. They range from his award winning – and iconoclastic – Red Tape™ family constructed of, well, pieces of red tape, to the mega Supra™humanistic sans serif family that has so many weights, proportions and alternative designs, Wiescher claims he really doesn’t know how many there are. Slam, an offshoot of Supra, adds depth to the family – or can stand firmly on its own slab serifs. His Bannertype™ is a chunky, rough-hewn sans in the style of early 20th century German advertising typefaces. The distinctive and lively Tosca™ is one of the scores of Wiescher scripts. Imperia™is a stately titling font that’s a natural for movie titles and book covers, and his Futuramano® family is a friendly, flannel shirt rugged sans serif design.
Wiescher lives and works in Munich, but he also spends time in Nice and Paris France, Hilo Hawaii and Zürich Switzerland. When he’s not making fonts, he writes about everything from computers to wine and is an accomplished cook. “I am a very restless guy,” he confesses. He’s also clearly tireless when it comes to his pursuit of new typeface designs.