From the Point of View of a Trainee – Rafael Saraiva

Rafael Saraiva has recently returned to Brazil to work with out team there after taking part in the Dalton Maag training programme for new type designers. He tells us a little more about what he’s gained from the experience.

“Even though I have a self taught background in calligraphy, it was great to spend a considerable amount of time working only with that at the beginning of the training period. Calligraphy can inform our work a lot and is an infinite source of insights and inspiration.


Rafael’s calligraphy

“After discussing ideas with Ron, my chosen concept was a sans serif typeface with rounded corners and a squarish appearance. This new design should be between ‘friendly’ and ‘tech’ and it would be suitable for corporate use.

2 Font concept_sketches

Font concept sketches.

“I designed a limited number of letters for Regular, Thin and Black weights to see how the concept would work as a typographic system. But since we have a limited time window during this training process, Ron advised me to focus on the Regular weight. We are supposed to design the ASCII set during the training, in order to reproduce the way a project is presented to real clients. But we covered accented characters that are not covered in the ASCII set, because they can pose technical challenges when dealing with spacing and kerning.

3 Font concept_Family Planning

Weight testing for Rafael’s font.

“We had several sessions with the Engineers in order to cover technical aspects of font production. We learned the best practices on how to perform quality assurance tests, to engineer and hint our fonts. The last part of the training was very special, because Hinting was something new to me and it was brilliant to get in touch with that aspect of font production.”

8 Hinting



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