AGI Designers Wax Eloquent About Type

The words “typeface” and “character” are fitting terms to describe fonts. When listening to good designers talk about them, you would think they were gossiping about people. They talk about their emotional qualities, complain about what they perceive as their flaws, get blushingly specific about their physical beauty. For them, some typefaces are casual flings, good for a quickie when the mood strikes and the lighting is right; with others, they are in love and ready to commit for life. For many designers, a studying letterforms is more engaging than reading what the collected letters have to say.

So, when Kit Hinrichs invited 12 of his fellow AGI members in the U.S. to pick a typeface for the 2013 edition of the “365 Typography Calendar,” they happily sent in their nominations, adding their opinions about why their pick was worthy of inclusion. Here’s what some AGI members had to say about their choice:

Michael Vanderbyl on Sackers:
“It exudes simplicity yet has a fashion face look to it. “

Stefan Sagmeister on Bau:
“It’s a grotesque but warmer and more human than Helvetica.”

Rick Valicenti on Pitch:
“The first non-soggy, beautifully proportioned Courier.” Nevertheless, he says he finds Pitch’s ball serifs “a bit too cute,” but believes Pitch’s “straight letters like T, V, M, and K carry the editorial voice towards modernism.”

Carin Goldberg on La Police:
“When used as display, La Police maintains its elegance but evolves into something somewhat sinister as it has these lovely thorns that grow out of the stems of the letterforms. Very Jekyll and Hyde.”

The AGI designers who participated in the 2013 calendar type selections include:

  • Ivan Chermayeff, Chermayeff & Geismar
  • Bart Crosby, Crosby Associates
  • Louise Fili, Louise Fili, Ltd.
  • Tom Geismar, Chermayeff & Geismar
  • Carin Goldberg, Carin Goldberg Design
  • Kit Hinrichs, Studio Hinrichs
  • Jennifer Morla, Morla Design
  • Anukam Edward Opara, Pentagram
  • Stefan Sagmeister, Sagmeister, Inc.
  • Rick Valicenti, Thirst
  • Michael Vanderbyl, Vanderbyl Design
  • Massimo Vignelli, Vignelli Associates

The 2013 Typography Calendar comes in two sizes, a 23″ x 33″ wall size and a 12″ x 18″ desk size. You can order individual calendars from Ken Knight (To ensure delivery by Christmas, please order by December 10th). The calendar is also available at major art museums throughout the U.S. and at Design Within Reach. For inquiries outside the U.S., please email Studio Hinrichs directly at