Catch-up interview with Rick Banks

June 9, 2016 , In: Interviews

Face37, the London studio founded by design powerhouse Rick Banks, is almost 8 years into its success story. Along the way it’s been hailed by the likes of Creative Review Annual, D&AD, Creative Circle, TDC (NY) and ISTD as one of the capital’s most exciting creative endeavours.

Rick himself is in demand worldwide as a speaker and innovator in design and typography, and it’s not hard to see why – he’s the brains behind some of our favourite typography projects. He revived the legendary F37 Glaser Stencil font as a fully-functional multi-weight family for the digital era. He produced F37 Bella, one of HypeForType’s all time best-selling, best-looking fonts. He’s also the creator of F37 Ginger, a font that sets new standards in contemporary sans.

This latest success is now joined by F37 Ginger Rounded, another exciting exclusive at HypeForType, so it seemed like a perfect time to touch base. It’s almost a year since we last caught up with Rick, and we were excited to hear about his newest adventures in design…

So, Rick, how was your year?
It’s been another great year for me! A particular highlight was creating typographic wall art for the Nike flagship store in the Netherlands. I also got the chance to work on a bespoke typeface for Elixia, a Nordic firm of high-end fitness centres. The modernist font I created for them was inspired by the Dutch designer Wim Crouwel and his love of grids. Arguably though, the best work was the typographic logos I designed for Triumph Motorcycles. As a biker myself, it was amazing to see them on the actual finished products. I should probably also say that I got married last year which of course was another highlight!

(Thruxton, one of many identities produced for Triumph Motorcycles)

(Type treatment for the Nike flagship store, Amsterdam)

What projects lie in store for 2016…?
I think 2016 is also going to be an exciting year. After my last book, Football Type, I said I would never publish again, after it almost killed me! In fact, I will be publishing another book this year, with Craig Oldham, so stay tuned. I’m also currently creating two exclusive corporate typefaces, which is really exciting. They’ll be launching some time in the middle of the year. I’m also doing branding work for a large property somewhere in London…

Football Type5_0
(Rick raised over £20,000 for charity with his project, Football Type)

‘F37 Ginger’ has been a tremendous success story that’s set to continue with the new ‘Ginger Rounded’. What can you tell us about this new addition to the family?
After the success of F37 Ginger I wanted to expand the family with a rounded version. The rounded version will fit into projects that require a different, additional feel than F37 Ginger alone provides. I’ve been inspired by Helvetica Rounded along the way.

F37 Ginger Rounded
(Follow up to the hugely successful F37 Ginger)

Is it ever difficult to let a new font out into the world, or are you usually eager to see it out there at long last?
Some type designers can spend months working on a font which isn’t then a commercial success. I usually just want to to get it out there as soon as possible, and hope that it does well!

Where might you like to see yourself a year from now, typography-wise?
I’d like to have the time to produce some more commercial fonts, and to create more bespoke corporate fonts too.

Is the world of typography in a generally healthy state right now? Do you tend to see inspiring design work happening around you?
I honestly think the typography world has never been better. There are more and more type designers around, and independent foundries keep popping up. With the likes of RoboFont and Glyphs this will only encourage more people to take up type design. I also think big corporate companies are now understanding the real value in creating bespoke fonts for themselves.

Sounds like another fanatic year on the cards for Rick, and we’ll be watching our for more successes from one of our favourite designers. If you haven’t already, make sure to get your hands on F37 Bella, F37 Glaser Stencil, F37 Ginger and the all-new F37 Ginger Rounded, exclusively here at HypeForType.