Monthly Archives: January 2013

Two Nights in Vienna

Hi, I’m Lukas, and I’ve recently been appointed as Creative Director for Dalton Maag. I’ve been designing fonts with my colleagues here for a few years now, from London and Vienna – my home city.

I am very happy to announce that Bruno and I have been invited by the nice people of the tga, to hold a talk in their series “gespräche an der graphischen” on Wednesday, February the 20th. We will be talking “Business Beyond A to Z”, and will be giving the audience a few insights into our daily work with custom fonts. Hopefully we can spread our passion for letters. Come if you are based near Vienna, and interested in type design – we’d be very happy to see you there. You can get more information at (German only).

20. 02. 2013 | 19:00 | Designforum Wien | Museumsquartier | 1070 Wien

On Thursday, the day after the talk, we’d like to take the opportunity to invite everybody interested in our work to our little office in Vienna. Maybe you’d like to drop by after work, have a glass of wine with us and chat about type.

21. 02. 2013 | from 18:30 | Liniengasse 2B (Gassenlokal) | 1060 Wien

Vienna Flyer

Early Dalton Maag Brochure

Hi, Tim here. I’m Dalton Maag’s in-house graphic designer. Recently we have been exploring our huge archive of work. I managed to unearth this small red book, which was Dalton Maag’s very first printed brochure. It showcases some of our early projects, including logotypes, custom fonts and library fonts, such as Dedica.


On The Front Line of Brazilian Font Design

Olá from Brazil. I’m Fabio Haag, Creative Director for the Dalton Maag Brazil office.


Brazil is now an expanding market for graphic and type design, and one which we’re very excited to be part of. Over the last few months we’ve been involved in some amazing Brazilian projects and been able to show that high quality type design is an important element in branding in South America. As much as we enjoy keeping our heads down and drawing letters, it’s also very rewarding to get out of the office and meet people to talk about type, life and caipirinhas.

Bruno and I recently did some travelling around Brazil, giving a number of different talks, open and private, formal and some very informal ones. In Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro, Bruno and I talked about how we can collaborate with graphic designers to achieve projects with higher typographic standards. Whilst in São Paulo, Bruno spoke about Nokia Pure, one of the most ambitious type design projects in recent history, and the challenges of creating a unified type design spanning 15 scripts.

The feedback that we got from these talks was overwhelmingly positive, and we were very impressed by the enthusiasm of our audiences. It was a real pleasure to be able to reach out to our friends in Porto Alegre, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and we want to thank ApDesign, ESPM, ADG and ESDI for their support in making this possible.

Stepping outside the office is a good exercise in shifting focus away from the day to day management of individual projects, to seeing the bigger picture. We are very happy with our success in Brazil and plans for an even bigger presence here are now on the horizon.



From Graceful to Strong, the New Faces of Aktiv Grotesk

Aktiv Grotesk.

Since its release in 2010, Aktiv Grotesk has proven to be a successful grotesque design with a calm and confident voice. Now, eight new styles expand the range of expressions, from a beautiful Hairline to a bulky Black weight, with matching italics.

The Hairline weights elevate any message into a state of grace. Very delicate at medium sizes, the Hairline weights were designed to shine in big sizes, that allow them to reveal their careful refinement.The nature of very thin strokes means that there is no room for mistakes. Even the tiniest imprecision results in a visible error. The diagonals are particularly difficult to design, as the pixel grid system does not cope well with anything other than vertical and horizontal lines.

The Black weights, as the opposing side of the yin-yang of this font, deliver strong, loud and clear messages. White space is at premium on such dark letterforms and new challenges arise. Knowing where to compensate for the excessive weight, and by how much, is a constant issue.

If the user fancies something less extreme, new intermediate weights Thin and ExtraBold were designed to work with the already existing Light, Regular, Medium and Bold. With this comprehensive update, Aktiv Grotesk has become even more versatile.

You can see all eight new styles on our website.

Aktiv Grotesk Dances into New English National Ballet Campaign

From today, Dalton Maag’s Aktiv Grotesk is being used in a brand new campaign for the English National Ballet as their new logo and font. The campaign, by creative agency The Beautiful Meme, features stunning photography of English National Ballet dancers wearing couture garments by Vivienne Westwood. The idea behind the campaign is to turn over the traditional stereotypes of ballet, and get people to look at the English National Ballet with fresh eyes.

For the logotype, we modified Aktiv Grotesk to create a unique form for the ballet company. The starting point was Aktiv Grotesk Bold, with the spacing and leading of the individual characters being refined to create the perfect typographic balance for the words “English National Ballet”. The most major modification was to replace the standard Aktiv Grotesk “g” with a new two-storey version for greater aesthetic appeal.


Aktiv Grotesk was chosen for its clean lines and modernity, which challenge the traditional images of ballet. Ben Haworth, Creative Director of The Beautiful Meme, gave us an insight into their creative process and why they decided that Aktiv Grotesk was the perfect font for this campaign.

“The decision was made quite early on to deviate from any visual preconceptions of ballet predominantly including script or baroque serif typefaces. We wanted a brand typeface that would reflect and support Tamara Rojo’s artistic vision of communicating a core truth that everyone in the Company has something to say,” said Ben

“Aktiv Grotesk seemed the perfect vehicle to profess the English National Ballet’s new bold and confident position. It’s an exquisitely drawn typeface that has the creative quirks and character to distinguish from other more clinical grotesque fonts. Its clean and contemporary feel also has a degree of neutrality which is key for future collaborative projects across a wide range of the arts to enhance the vision of the ENB being the UK’s most creative company.

“This was our second collaborative project with Dalton Maag, and once again their professionalism and creative insight was a huge benefit for a young company such as ourselves. From chatting ballet over lunch last summer, to creating a bespoke Aktiv double story ‘g’ for the logotype, it’s been a fantastic journey and an absolute pleasure.”