The Design Center Main Lobby . . / . . &Type! . . / . . The Index Font Family . . / . .Interview . . / . .A Message from Phils

Ladies and gentlemen, we're very pleased to have the opportunity to chat with
Joshua Darden
co-creator of the INDEX Font Family


DT&G: Tell the readers a bit about INDEX...

Josh: Index was designed to be comfortably readable, without being run-of-the-mill. Although our original goals for it were a bit too far-fetched, we significantly broadened our definition of a typeface design: up to fifteen versions of each glyph were outlined on paper, some of which survive in the Typographer's Set.

DT&G: What prompted you to develop INDEX?

Josh: Around January 1997, Betsy at Garagefonts told us they were going to hold a type design contest, and although we didn't have much information about the submissions guidelines, we scrambled to get a font ready. We finished that font in 2 weeks. Locus was its name, and never will we do that again. Not a bad font for what it was, and we learned tremendously during those 2 weeks. But it was only a springboard to Index. When we realized we had more time we set out to design Index. It was the first time we stopped to think things out beforehand: we set up grids, decided on the basic look, and stressed for hours over a letter at a time.

Josh: "We truly wanted it to do something excellent."

Our goal was for it to be eminently usable. We like to think that, as the months passed, we accomplished that. We spent quite a bit of time on it: drew and redrew our italic, drew an expert set, started to go crazy with ligatures, and spent insane amounts of time kerning. Once again, we learned in what sometimes seemed to be exponential leaps. The time between Diva/Interact and Index is incredibly short.

DT&G: How did it all start... school, professional career, etc.???

Josh: We grew up together; we've been working together since 1993. When we designed Index we were seniors in high school, which one of us graduated. As far as a professional career goes, I'm continuing to pursue graphic design with a focus on type design. Tim has joined an order of full-time ministers and doesn't actively work anymore, but i still talk to him and get his opinion on my font and web designs.

DT&G: What do you like BEST about INDEX

Josh: Probably a page that has been set very precisely using ligatures where appropriate, and utilizing the expert set, which is Tim's favorite version. Index has good color on the page, and it can be set at a rather small size and remain readable. As geometric as it is, it has a very human quality, I think. I like that.
. . . Of course, I also like that it won the first prize in a font contest. ;)

DT&G: What do you think the font is most suited for?

Josh: Advertisement copy. Magazine articles. Books. Any document that would benefit from a narrow set width, and a strong, poised character. The opening titles for the film 'Return To Paradise' were set in Index Italic, which was an application we hadn't even anticipated, but I think they pulled it off well.

DT&G: What "Classic" or "Old Style" font(s) are YOUR favorites?

Josh: I've been very keen on Bembo and Kis-Janson for quite a while now. Foundry Bembo is breathtaking, and Kis-Janson has a very toothy presence on the page. Tim's favorites are the Bodonis & Garamond; he can't stand Times Roman because it irritates him, although he doesn't say why.

DT&G: Direct our readers to details you would like them to discover.

Josh: They might focus on the virtues of the alternate characters when used at display sizes [I'm especially fond of the A, Q, a, g, and the ampersands], and the overall bony nature & geometry of the forms [everything is tied to a grid; the thin strokes in letters like the a, b, p, & q are half of the stroke weight; there's no thinning of horizontal strokes of joints; no contrast; no use of the overshoot principle]. It's a very unobtrusive face; it's compatible with a lot of other designs, and it's not tied to any specific design period, so it seems to blend in.

DT&G: Folks, it's wonderful to enjoy a brief encounter with the developers of great type faces.

Josh, on behalf of DT&G and The Design Center Type Department readers, I want to thank you for taking the time to share a little bit of your world.

You will be sure to let us know when the next font is ready, right?

Josh: You bet, Fred. And thanks for inviting me. Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about our work. Tim and I both send our regards to all the Design Center readers!

There you have it.
For some additional information about Index, visit the Scanjam Web site
http://www.scanjam.com/catalog.index.html
If you'd like to communicate with Joshua Darden personally, just email: jdarden@scanjam.com

Remember, we mentioned a nice discount?
INDEX fonts by Josh Darden and Timothy Glaser
is a Garage Fonts Face, available from Phil's Fonts.
Individual fonts are usually $36 each.
All these fonts are available in both PC/Windows and Mac platforms, in PostScript or TrueType Read our comments about Garage Fonts

Buy now at Garage Fonts (Select "INDEX" from the menu), or
view and buy INDEX and many more GarageFonts at http://www.philsfonts.com/.

Don't miss: First Vision Fonts, and Drunk Robot Fonts

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