Talking Type with Pieter Van Rosmalen

An interview with the creator of LC's newest typeface

To celebrate our 40th anniversary Laughlin Constable got a makeover. We did our research, rebranded ourselves and launched a new website – and with it, a whole new look. Countless hours were dedicated to the revamp, and more than a few of those hours were spent deliberating over what typeface typified “From Now to Next.”

To give you an idea of how that went, LC Creative Director Chris De Young gave us a peek behind the curtain:

“Typeface selection was a process that initially took weeks. Longer than anyone would think. We weren’t just designing a website; everything about our brand was literally on the table. So we looked at a lot of different things, in different situations, in different environments. We probably looked at and tried dozens of typefaces. Once we decided on the kind of typeface we wanted, it came down to four or five candidates. Then it was simply a matter of staring at them for a couple of days – to the point of near insanity.”

In the end, we choose Pinup. A typeface filled with quirks, boldness, optimism and, like the name suggests, sexiness.

After unveiling our stylish new site, we had the pleasure of talking to the typeface’s creator, Pieter van Rosmalen, a graphic designer from the Netherlands. We were curious to pick his brain about his career, his design process and, of course, the font.

LC: How long have you been designing type?

PVR: I started designing type in the beginning of the 90s. I was greatly inspired by the graphic language of Neville Brody back then, so my typefaces looked a lot like his typefaces and lettering work. After working for a few years as a graphic designer, I went back to art school (Type & Media at KABK in The Hague) to learn how to design typefaces in the most meaningful way possible.

LC: What’s your process for designing a typeface?

PVR: Every type designer has a few key letters that he or she draws first to see if the concept works. Since sketching by hand is not my cup of tea, I draw the glyphs directly in Fontlab or Robofont.

LC: Who are your favorite type designers?

PVR: Frantisek Storm, Adrian Frutiger, Roger Excoffon and Jurriaan Schrofer.

LC: What was your inspiration for Pinup?

PVR: I was mildly inspired by Antique Olive Nord, a typeface designed by Roger Excoffon. I was also inspired by a typeface I designed over 10 years ago, but wanted to refresh.

LC: How long did it take to design Pinup?

PVR: It didn’t take too long to create the initial design, but it did take quite a few years before I completely finalized the design.

LC: How did you decide on the name Pinup?

PVR: I named it Pinup because of its curves; it’s sexy without being vulgar.

LC: What do you think it visually communicates?

PVR: Pinup is a friendly display typeface with character that’s not too over-the-top.

Again, we’d like to personally thank Mr. Van Rosmalen for the interview. We hope you love our site – and the typeface – as much as we do!

Disclaimer: This conversation has been edited and condensed.

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