Based in Bangkok, Thailand Dave is prolifically producing typefaces and retails via MyFonts. Dave says Schizotype is a foundry with a multiple personality disorder, making mainly display fonts in a wide variety of genres.
I previously featured his typeface Engria which made me weak at the knees... and I had been meaning to get in touch with Dave to talk to him about a recent release Aziga last year - I loved the exaggerated contrast and the playful structure of the lowercase g and think the ligature form for #No. is super clever. But it was actually a tweet about a conversation with his mum that prompted me to reach out.
You see, my mum works in IT, she was desperate for me to get into the sciences... and tried her best to foster an interest in technology from a young age. she despaired when I chased the arts - she equates being freelance to being unemployed and waxes lyrical about letterpress being obsolete technology. After watching me painstakingly typeset a forme she remarked a laser printer would be a much more efficient means of production. (I can't argue with that).
Dave is active on twitter and when he tweeted that after a slow month sales-wise his mum suggested that all the fonts have already been made and that she was waiting for him to get a proper job I first laughed and then empathized - it seems like as well as a love of type another thing Dave and I have in common is a mum that isnt on the same page with our career choices!
I caught up with Dave to learn more about his career to-date and Aziga which had caught my eye:
Where did you study?
I have no formal training in type design. I studied Fine Art at the University of Central England (as it was called then) in Birmingham, UK.
What drew you into Type Design?
I kind of fell into it. I was working as a graphic designer for a tableware company. It involved a lot of vectorizing pixelated logos, and I ended up tracing a lot of type. I thought why not have a crack at making my own, so I made some pretty awful fonts, but they sold enough to make me keep going with it.
Can you tell us a little about the highlights of your career history so far?
There's a kids' film on Netflix called Barbie Dolphin Magic. The word Magic is in one of my fonts. I told my daughter this (she was two at the time) and every time she saw it she said, "Daddy made that. Thank you daddy!" I don't think that'll ever be topped really.
If your mum picked a career for you what would it be?
Probably an architect. It's actually what I might have chosen for myself if I'd thought more carefully haha, instead of going to art school.
What are you working on right now?
I've usually got a few fonts on the go at any one time, along with little custom jobs that I pick up on UpWork. At the moment I've got a text serif that's supposed to be a good counterpart to Astrid Grotesk, I've got a displayish flared sans, a me-too geometric sans, and I found a backslanted script font the other day that I can't really remember starting, so maybe I'll dig that out at some point.
Where did the idea for Azigas genre-spanning forms come from?
The original intention was to make a sans version of Mastadoni. I started chopping off the serifs and probably got a bit carried away and it just took on a life of its own. The use of the same angles was an accident that I decided to run with. You end up with a kind of system for designing the glyphs. Fonts usually get to a point where it's less about designing them and more just following the rules you've decided on for how to design it. With something like Aziga there's probably a bit more scope for experimentation within that, because the constraints of the rules I set myself needed some pretty bizarre solutions.
Were there any surprises or challenging parts to the design development process?
The whole font was a surprise really. After I decided on having the two diagonal angles (one the same as the diagonal in N, and the other perpendicular to that) it was a challenge to fit this into certain glyphs. I had to cheat a few times and use another diagonal too, like in A, V, W etc. just to be able to make a letter that actually looked like a letter.
What are your favourite features in Aziga?
I like the few occasions where the constraints led to a kind of reverse stress appearance. That's why there had to be a 'z' in the font's name. Then there's all the daft ligatures that are a lot of fun.
How has Aziga informed your current work?
Well I'm doing a lot less overtly display work, so that could be a reaction to it. I don't know really - it feels like every font informs the next ones.
What did working on this font family teach you?
I'm always learning, but it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it taught me specifically. The text serif I'm working on now has similarly sheared ball terminals, but I don't think that was a conscious thing.
How does where you live inform your work?
Embarrassingly enough, I don't think it has much impact. I work from home, so my office could really be anywhere in the world. I guess there's some subconscious factors maybe, in the type of lettering I see day to day, but it's not something I've striven for, like saying to myself I'm going to make a font with a Thai feel.
Does your mum have a favourite of your typefaces?
Haha, I don't think so. I remember once telling her that a font used in a TV advert that came on was mine, and she asked "how do you know?" They literally all look the same to her!