Donald Beekman picks his favourite Club FontFonts
Donald Beekman on bass with Wolfraam at TYPO Berlin 2007 © Erik van Blokland
Every parent will confirm this – picking favourites is murder. Fortunately choosing your favourite fonts is less emotionally laden, yet it still proves to be a difficult thing to do. I should know; I have been asked quite often what are my favourite and least favourite typefaces – just recently in this interview on Communications Hell, the blog by “perpetually curious communications professional” Paul McIvor of Rosetta PR.
By asking experts, celebrities, and other authority figures in the type community for their preferred typefaces we hope to learn from them. Their selections can be pointers to either established classics or fresh and lesser-known designs that otherwise may have eluded us. This is what brought me to ask Donald Beekman last month at Typo Berlin what his favourite club faces are. The reason to specifically ask Donald is quite straightforward. The Amsterdam-based interviewer for Typeradio, musician, DJ/producer, and head of an underground record label also designs under the monicker DBXL branding and packaging for his colleagues in the music industry. Donald intimately knows club culture and is immersed in the dance-oriented music scene. All his type designs but one originated in letters he drew for logos, record sleeves, posters, and flyers – Brak is the only design he started “just for fun”.
Donald Beekman speaks at TypeSHED11: Type, drugs and rock ’n’ roll
© TypeSHED11 / WGTN / NZ
In addition to his list on The FontFeed, Donald also made a selection of his favourite Club FontFonts for Unzipped. He admits this one was a little harder. Strange as it may seem he is not a typical FontFont user. Indeed, Beekman mostly uses his own typefaces in his design work and has no less than 11 volumes of these fonts published through FontFont, yet for this list he wanted to avoid including too many of his own designs. He went through the FontFont collection twice, carefully evaluating the options. Many are too corporate or serious to be used as club faces, but there is also a large selection of fun and flashy FontFonts. Furthermore Donald explains “the current flyer culture has considerably loosened up design-wise, and it has become less a statement to use specific techno faces. Actually nowadays more (anything?) is allowed, and this also applies to the music. The general attitude is more open-minded, which is reflected in the design. On the one hand a pity, on the other hand liberating?”
In addition to this list Donald picked his favourite Club Fonts for The FontFeed.
FF Blocker | Hannes Famira
Prototypical club flyer font, a very strong design!
FF Marten in use | design by Donald Beekman
FF Marten | Martin Wenzel
A very usable grid font which I have often used on flyers and posters, and to design logos.
FF Scratch | Max Kisman
One of Kisman’s more geometric fonts, but frankly anything by Max rocks. And still does!
FF Trademarker in use | design by Donald Beekman
FF Trademarker | Critzler
This very powerful and fast typeface adds a lot of dynamism to your designs.
FF Chernobyl | Stephan Müller
This design is based on stencil lettering found on the cooling tower of the nuclear plant in Chernobyl. Despite its historical background this one looks really cool and is well suited for techno flyers.
FF Zapata | Erik van Blokland
An atypical Erik van Blokland design, but nevertheless very good. Although Zapata is based on old wood type, it can perfectly be used for modern flyer design.
Industria and FF Tokyo in use | design by Donald Beekman
FF Tokyo, FF Dome, FF Typeface 6 & 7, Industria | Neville Brody
What more can be said about Neville Brody? Time has caught up with him by now, but still a personal hero of mine. As a homage I used his letters for an 80s dance party flyer.
FontCard promoting FF DIN | design by Jürgen Siebert, 1995
FF DIN | Albert-Jan Pool
Me too I have used DIN 1451 a lot on flyers and posters. The original version only had a single weight in two widths, so that’s all there was to it. Albert-Jan Pool’s reworked and extended digital version FF DIN is a fantastic family. I wish I had it at my disposal 10 years ago!
FF Backbone | Donald Beekman
If you ever need an extended set of club fonts, you’re set in one fell swoop with this diverse collection.
FF Soul in use | design by Donald Beekman
FF Soul | Donald Beekman
Designed in 2001 and still in heavy rotation. There are versions: FF Hardsoul for the “harder” music styles, FF Softsoul for more funky club sounds.
Curious to find out what Donald Beekman's favourite Club Fonts are? Head over to The FontFeed.