In 1984, the year the Apple Macintosh computer was introduced, Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko, husband-and-wife émigrés from the Netherlands and Czechoslovakia respectively, founded Emigre Graphics in San Francisco. Within a few years, the typeface foundry and its magazine, Emigre, became the late 20th century’s wellspring of experimental digital typography and graphic design.
As early adopters of the Mac, Licko designed custom-bitmapped typefaces (letters made from squares or pixels on a grid similar to filling in boxes on graph paper) for the magazine. VanderLans used them in layouts that rejected Swiss modernist rigidity in favor of improvisation with a touch of reactionary postmodern eccentricity. By exploiting the limitations of the computer, they also developed a typographic language that challenged many established tenets of typography, including readability and legibility.
While working on a much larger family of fonts named Lo-Res Outlined, which are years in the making, Licko stumbled upon the idea of making a mono spaced version. The idea was so energizing, she decided to shift focus and finish it before returning to her original designs. The result is close-knit family of six modular fonts. This mono spaced design takes its playfulness into the world of patterns with its abstracted, woven letterforms. The characters fill up an M-square entirely, thereby allowing the letters, when set without line spacing, to create dense patterns filling a square grid.
This type specimen booklet includes examples of how to combine and layer the six versions of this typeface. You can purchase any or all of these versions for your own use on the Emigre Fonts website.
Typefaces designed by Zuzana Licko. Stapled booklet designed by Rudy VanderLans. Offset printed on uncoated stock, measures 8.25 x 5.25 inches, 32 pages.