Mohol is an experimental high-contrast sans serif typeface. The project started with Áron Jancsó’s question: “What is the best way to design a sans serif, mono-linear typeface with an old classical tool, like a broad nib pen?”.
Mohol was originally designed for the László Moholy-Nagy Design Grant in 2016. The brief was to design a new typeface, in respect of László Moholy-Nagy’s work and heritage. He was the most famous Hungarian in the Bauhaus, painter, photographer. Moholy-Nagy was influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.
I made the first sketches and digital files at my Type and Media studies as a revival project under the name Gewaard. Project leader: Paul van der Laan. The Medium weight is an interpretation of Halfvette Aldine, shown in the Lettergieterij Amsterdam specimen of c.1906. I’ve found the original typeface on an old prayer-book, from Butzon and Bercker, Kevelaer, 1904. The type was set in large size, in 24 pt.
Since 2013 I have redrawn the letters several times, but I’ve found it’s clear voice only 5 years after the first sketches. In 2018 I redesigned all the characters with more geometric details and a comletely new italic style. The horizontal part of the 2, and 7, the vertical tails of the a, t, R show the clear geometric attitude. Amen Display has 6 weights in Roman and Italic styles. The cursive lowercase letters are true italics, the construction of the shapes follow the movement of a writing hand. The rounded characters (a,b,d,p,q) have a special inbound, to reflect to the structure of a handwritten letter.
The Bauhaus Archive in Berlin is one of my favourite places. I like drinking there a coffee, and sketching ideas on the terrace, while thinking on what does ‘functional’ mean. After the first TypoLabs conference I visited again the museum, with a lot of ideas after those inspirational days. On the exhibition there was a Tapetenmusterbuch (facing paper specimen) from the early 1930’s. I fell in love immediately with the letter ‘a’ on the cover and wanted to redraw it and adapt to my language.
From this letter I created the whole alphabet (usually I start with an ‘n’ and a ‘p’ character). The letters are clean, but they have a small unusual feature: the countershapes of the rounded letters (b, d, g, p, q) have a small vertical straight part, which is large enough to be visible in bigger point size, but small enough to create a rounded form in smaller sizes. To help the constructed, grid-based graphic design the Thin lowercase stems are 50% of the Bold stems, you find the same proportion between the Light and Black characters too.
The typeface contains alternate characters for a more geometric style, like the single-storey ‘a’ or the ‘E, F’ with optically same arm length and the simpler 4 and 7 figures. The typeface has 5 widths from Thin to Black in two weights: Normal and Wide. The wide styles are easy to combine with the regular ones, perfect to highlight information, or for an eye-catching typography. All the letters reflect to the heritage of the Bauhaus, they are clean and concrete. I made all the characters as functional as possible.
Laslo was named after the most famous Hungarian designer from the Bauhaus: László Moholy-Nagy, and was released on his 123rd birthday. Happy birthday László, I hope, you would like it!