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Bēhance

  • The brief required a display font for use in a BBC4 documentary about design school, The Bauhaus. I knew what I wanted to do straight away. It had to be suggestive of the typefaces created by notorious Bauhaus typographer Herbert Bayer, but also to be accepting of modern typographic logic. 
  • Herbert Bayer and his merry men did pave the way for a lot of ideas about what modern typography should look like, indeed many ideals taught at that school have influenced the world around us. Walter Gropius, the 'founding father' of the Bauhaus, for example can lay claim to having designed the modern western city, and I dare say Ikea wouldn't be Ikea without the influence of Bauhaus design. However, Bayer may have gone a bit too extreme for our taste. His idea was to simplify text without mercy. He tried to end the use of two cases, saying there was no point using two alphabets. He did advocate modern, simple sans serif fonts, but even then he would dock what was left of any sign of a serif on his ultra-gothic fonts.

    I have taken on as much of his influence as modern type logic will allow. I hacked off any remnants of a serif, limited the font to a single weight, insisted on clarity and so on, but I could not avoid utilizing separate upper and lower cases. A previous BBC documentary about the Bauhaus utilized Bayer's 'Sturm Blond' font, which has one case. I can't imagine it looked right at the time, and now it looks even worse. The font mainly consists of lower case symbols, but the S, T and U are all capital looking, giving any text on display the look of the rantingS of a blogger with a dySfUnctional capS lock bUTTon. Yuh see. He also beheaded the 'j' character, I thought that was a bit miserly.
  • So, here you have it, Beebhaus font. It looks great on screen, but ultimately will be lost in a sea of other fonts with similar motivations (like whatever they use for the Bebo, Dre Beats and Fenchurch logos). I haven't shown here, but it has every symbol included that you will ever need (accents, numbers, basic mathematical symbols etc). I retain full rights to this font, the BBC only had my permission to use it once. As such, if anyone has a use for this font I will personally email it to you in exchange for enough coins to get a large German beer. My email is rwjohnston@hotmail.co.uk