Independent Type Foundry Advent Calendar – Day 15: David Jonathan Ross

David Jonathan Ross (DJR) had been working with The Font Bureau for nearly a decade, when he decided to start his own type foundry in 2016, now located in the hills of Western Massachusetts.

David’s typefaces literally come in all shapes and sizes, and in all of them, his love for exploration, experimentation, and play is evident. It almost seems as if David just can’t get enough of trying out new genres, drawing new shapes, finding new ideas for typefaces that nobody has done before, while pushing the boundaries of what font technology and type engineering can do. As a result, David has been awarded with several TDC awards and, in 2018, received the Prix Charles Peignot by the Association Typographique Internationale.

Many of David’s experiments and up as fonts in his Font of the Month Club. For a tiny subscription fee, members of the club will get one of David’s latest fonts every month. And the variety of designs on this “playground” is just stunning. So just scroll through the history of fonts – and also take a look at the type designs on David’s website that I don’t mention here.

While many of David’s designs remain experiments or single fonts (for now), some of them even grow into whole type families. Like the much applauded Roslindale, a serif family that comes with sturdy and stylish text styles but gets expressive and ornate in display sizes.

Or Forma DJR, a revival of the classic Italian sans-serif from 1968, that was the Italian type foundry Nebiolo’s answer to Helvetica. Based on proofs Indra Kupferschmid printed from a casting of the original Forma in lead, David and Roger Black designed a contemporary digital version of Forma that captures the charm of all the interesting, unintentional byproducts of the printing process in the typeface’s design details.

Also worth mentioning, especially for the coders out there, is Input, a monospaced (and proportional) type system David specifically designed for coding environments. The typeface comes in a wide range of widths and styles, so that you can pick the right type face for your editor according to your personal preference. I have been using Input as my typeface in Sublime Text and later Visual Studio Code for years now and don’t want to miss it.

For all typefaces, you can get trial fonts, sometimes even including the variable font versions, for evaluation and internal testing purposes.

And if you love conference talks, also make sure to watch the talks David gave at beyond tellerrand in 2016 and 2018 for a deep-dive into type design and (extreme) typography.

Screenshot Input 2
Screenshot Input
Screenshot Forma DJR 3
Screenshot Forma DJR 4
Screenshot Forma DJR 2
Screenshot Forma DJR 1
Screenshot Roslindale 2
Screenshot Roslindale 3
Screenshot Roslindale
Screenshot Fit 2
Screenshot Fit
Screenshot Bungee
Screenshot FOTMC 3
Screenshot FOTMC 4
Screenshot FOTMC 2
Screenshot FOTMC
Screenshot DJR website

This post is part of the Independent Type Foundry Advent Calendar 2022


26 Webmentions

Photo of @matthiasott
@matthiasott Thanks so much for the thoughtful write-up, and for spreading the word about smaller type foundries 😊;😊;😊;
Photo of Pablo Lara H
Pablo Lara H
🎄; Independent Type Foundry Advent Calendar Day 15: David Jonathan Ross @djrrb #adventcalendar #design #typedesign #typefoundries #typography by Matthias Ott @m_ott…