After studying Graphic Design and working for publishing and industrial design agencies, German designer Jürgen Weltin began designing fonts in the mid-1990s.
His first font design was Finnegan. He saw himself as a complete beginner, since he was still in the process of studying. Despite this, it was clear to him that he wanted to design a font of his own, one that did not copy or reference any other. “The experimental fields of the techno and grunge era, in which everyone was ‘sampling’ freely, was very tempting, but I didn’t want to take that route.”
The result was a comfortable reading font that went on to win the Certificate of Excellence in Type Design from ATypI.
Another award-winning font is Yellow, which was designed as a font for a telephone book. Weltin himself says the following: “A lot of what I learned during the development of Finnegan is in there. And without the experience of Yellow, there would have been no Agilita.”
He developed Balega, a font that recalls fat stencil lettering, as a contrast to these three fonts. It is a “cover version”, as he himself describes it – “maybe similar to what the Swiss guitarist Christy Doran did with Hendrix in 1994.” A new interpretation of an existing work. In this case, the original font was Resolut, which stems from the age of lead typesetting.
Similar to this, and recently published, are the fonts Mantika Sans and Mantika Informal.
Weltin: “The concept behind the Mantika font system is, as said, to take a starting point and to continuously design it as something new.” In this way, there is “a formal relationship between the styles, which offers the opportunity to combine them together, since they are all based on the same upper- and lower-case heights.”