Original: DIN 1451 Engschrift / Designer: Deutsches Institut für Normung (1931)
Redesign: DIN IV 44 / Designer: Jan Skoček (2016)

KA+RA+TO: “You’re an architect, so we picked a German typeface for you. DIN, you’ll do a redesign of DIN, a geometric typeface, geometric structure, it’ll be interesting for you… and you’ll learn some basic principles behind our work...” Me (to myself): “DYN – oh, right, DIN.” Me (to myself): “They said structure. Re-design, how does one do a re-design? Sure, structure, but which DIN? Why there are a million of them, and anyway all of them are just brilliantly digitised, so what’ll I do? I don’t know anything about it... Evolution. Where did it start? I have to find out everything. Prussian trains. Those metal signs are beautiful – as they age the precision diminishes, the edges round, errors appear, anomalies – it’s alive. They’re all created based on the same template, and yet the differences are huge...” The first version of my DIN was created in autoCAD, the dry geometric structure of all of the basic characters just in straight lines and circles. Drafting was the tool to understanding the template. The redesign was not crated based on a redrawing of the original sample typeface; it was precisely re-constructed. I sought the logic behind the structure of individual characters using the basic tools that were used to create the template. This analysis and understanding of the simple principles of the construction of shapes was later useful when working on alternative symbols and in adding characters to the typeface that the original had never contained. The geometric construction of the letterforms is simple and grid-based, the basic character proportion is 3:7, and individual letterforms comprise straight lines and circles of various diameters (d1, d2, d3) – that is all. The differences compared to the template are most visible in how the bowls connect to the stems. DIN 1451 seems mono-linear; the new typeface returns to the original, bare-bones construction, creating much greater contrast at places where the stem meets the curve; the typeface appears more expressive. DIN IV 44 is a typeface designed to please all trainspotters and model train enthusiasts, a typeface for engineers, engine drivers and train dispatchers.

  • Evolution / Original Typefaces Redesigned
  • Type and Typography studio
  • @ Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague / 2016