Fresh Fonts Freshen up Your Font News
An Interview with Noemi Stauffer of Fresh Fonts
Fresh Fonts is an email newsletter featuring the most interesting, newest font releases of independent type foundries. TypeThursday founder, Thomas Jockin, spoke with Noemi to learn why she started the newsletter and what fresh font caught her attention recently.
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Thomas Jockin: Hey Noemi, thanks so much for joining me today.
Noemi Stauffer: Hi Thomas, thank you so much for having me! I’m excited to be here and tell you more about what I do and how I (pretty randomly) got into typography!
TJ: Absolutely! Can you start by sharing what is Fresh Fonts?
NS: Of course. Fresh Fonts is an email newsletter that I started featuring the most interesting, newest font releases of independent type foundries from everywhere. The goal of the newsletter is on one side, to give free exposure to the work of indie foundries, especially new ones, and on the other hand, to keep designers and developers updated with all the latest type releases and limited time offers.
TJ: That’s great. There are so many font releases that it’s hard to keep up. Were you always fascinated by fonts?
Noemi’s background prior to starting Fresh Fonts
NS: Haha, no, to tell you the truth I got into type by accident! In fact, I am not a designer at all, I actually come from a business background. One day, I joined a community of designers on Slack, called French Designers Club, with the aim of “spying on them” because I was trying to build an online store targeted at designers, and I wanted to better understand their needs and motivations. I noticed, however, that they were sharing many new font releases, and because I had absolutely no knowledge of what typography was, to me, it was a sort of revelation. I realized that I had been exposed to type all my life, without being aware of it, and suddenly, I could notice it everywhere and in everything. Since then, I find it rich, powerful, and fascinating.
TJ: It stands out you don’t come from a design background and yet here you are down the rabbit hole of letterforms. What was your experience before the start of Fresh Fonts?
Since I was a kid, I have always been very drawn to design, in all its shapes, and to aesthetics, without really knowing what it was.
Why Noemi started Fresh Fonts
NS: In fact, I am not sure that it is so surprising. I have always been very drawn to design, in all its shapes, and to aesthetics as well, without really knowing what is was. Maybe growing up in Switzerland helped, because they have such a strong visual culture there. The last time I was in Lausanne, I was having a coffee in a small restaurant when I noticed that on the menu, they were giving credits to the designer who created the visual identity of the restaurant. I don’t think I saw that anywhere else!
But to answer your question, my background prior to starting Fresh Fonts is rather atypical, I would say. I started out by attending Art School, but that backfired very quickly. I had absolutely no talent for any field of Fine Arts, and was failing most of my classes, so they kicked me out. That’s actually when I turned to business. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, I started my career by working in healthcare innovation. I was part of the innovation team at Hospital Sant Joan de Deu, a Children’s Hospital here in Barcelona, where I was helping to improve the quality of care. After that, I helped setting up and became the Program Manager of d·HEALTH Barcelona, an accelerator program to develop new medical devices and launch startups in healthcare. However, I had got into healthcare a bit by chance, and wasn’t feeling passionate about it, so I eventually resigned. Next thing I knew, I was a Digital Project Manager leading a team of more than ten designers and developers on a massive advertising project. But that turned out to be very stressful, and from there, I decided that I would work on my own ideas, and get them out to the world. And Fresh Fonts is pretty much the outcome of that.
Recent fonts that catch Noemi’s attention
TJ: I imagine you see a lot of fonts for the newsletter. What were some of the recent font releases that caught your attention?
NS: Haha, I was hoping that you wouldn’t ask me that, because there are so many! However, if I could pick two, first I would have to go for Beatrice Display, freshly released by Sharp Type. They applied a new contrast methodology to the typeface, which they decided to call the “internal contrast”. Not only I have high regards for their innovative approach, but I find the result very impressive visually. The italics, too, are just delightful.
One other typeface that I can’t wait to find an use for is the Euclid superfamily by Swiss Typefaces. Euclid Flex was revisited and now comes with eleven sets of stylistic alternates, one of them with graffiti-like drippings, and so many ligatures. They also expanded it, creating four new distinct geometric versions of the typeface: Circular A, Circular B, Square and Triangle. Talking about Swiss Typefaces, I think I also need to mention their high contrast lab font IKANSEEYOUALL, of which I particularly love the numerals, commercial at and two ampersands. Surprisingly, I only found out very recently that Swiss Typefaces were also from Vevey, my native hometown!
TJ: Such a small word! For the final question, where do you see Fresh Fonts going in another year from now?
I dream of designing my own typeface one day, but I still have a long way ahead. So many possibilities!
Next steps for Noemi
NS: Clearly, I would want to see Fresh Fonts getting involved with the creation of typefaces rather than just their promotion. Fresh Fonts could become a publisher, or at least commission independent foundries to create new typefaces. I dream of designing my own typefaces one day, but I still have a long way ahead. So many possibilities!
From pixels to (needle)points, all are welcome
Before you say, “I have nothing to show at TypeThursday,” consider this: we accept all work, as long as it involves the use or design of letterforms. How about a UI design that needs hierarchical sharpening? Or that needlepoint of your name you started in third grade and always swore you’d finish? Submit your work to a TypeThursday near you..
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