Books, Brass and Branches…

Marmite Defontes newsletter post #8

Books, Brass and Branches…

Good day, dear subscribers!

It’s B heavy edition for this November issue. Enjoy!

The menu:

  • Books, a Selection of Four
  • Baby News for Twig and Zoyg
  • Bam! Inktober23 Recap and Remix
  • 🎟️ For paid subscribers: Documenting my Process
  • A Live Band with Brass, Bass and Badass Beats

Books, a Selection of Four

1/ “The Hard Switch”

by Owen Pomery

The Hard Switch cover: two characters sitting on a metal tower on a starry night.

I discovered Owen’s work when my friend Rik was working on the game Flat Eye by Monkey Moon studio. His style and approach to industrial design, scenery and landscape caught my attention and I became a fan immediately. You can have a look at his work on his website. Owen also publishes a newsletter here on Substack: go and have a look! Owen just published a graphic novel called The Hard Switch. It’s hard sci-fi, the topic of finite resources is at the core of the storyline and the visual experience is very detailed and delightfully fresh. Highly recommended.

2/ “Graphic Languages – A Visual Guide to the World’s Writing Systems”

by Oliver Häusle

Graphic Languages book cover and side view.

I don’t remember how I bumped into this project, but I it clicked immediately with my interest for writing systems. After reading a first article on Oliver’s journey for this research and the book, I reached out to him. I wanted to know how to get my hands on it. He secured a copy and send it to me. You can read follow him on Instagram and read the book review on The Brand Identity.

3/ .ss01: a Magazine about Type Design

by Viktor Baltus and the Interviewees (sounds like a band name from the Motown golden years)

Photo of a hand holding the .ss01 magazine.

Another publication on Type Design, yay! It’s a pocket book, it’s also a magazine and it regroups 11 interviews and many type samples. The perfect companion for train rides or calm moments next to the fireplace for Christmas. The magazine is currently sold out, but Viktor will add new copies in December.

4/ A to Z of The Designers Republic

by Ian Anderson

Cover of the book A to Z of The Designers Republic.

My graphic heroes! Or should I say the studio that inspired and fuelled my hunger for bold happy geeky artsy designs since I was a student. I somehow managed to miss the first edition of this publication when it was launched through Kickstarter in 2019. Luckily for me, Thames & Hudson got the brilliant idea to (re)publish it. The book launch is weirdly messy, between confusing publications dates provided by T&H or online shops… Or even launch parties thrown in a couple of book stores. But I confirm the book is out. At least copies are available in the UK. Consider Counter Print, they are the best for shopping design-related books and goodies.

Baby News for Twig and Zoyg

Type design was a bit slow for the last few weeks on my side. But still, there was progress. Let me share a couple of updates for upcoming fonts.


Five weights sample for the Twig font family.

I told you before that I wanted to limit the first release of this family to 3 styles. Well, I changed my mind! It will be 5: Thin, Light, Regular, SemiBold and Bold. While testing the current version, doing layouts and mockups, I was missing variations (or steps). I revised the weight distribution as you can see in the image above.

Lyrics extract from the song Heavy Honey by Left Lane Cruiser: I got that wine from your favorite town in France A box of Swiss chocolate Got you tuggin’  on my pants
Lyrics from “Heavy Honey” by Left Lane Cruiser

Heavy Honey

Completion-wise: Caps and Lowercases are almost finished. Numbers and punctuation are progressing well. I started crash testing some options for the accent and marks.

Twig progress: Character set ±80%, Spacing ±80%, Family styles completed, Kerning 0%.


The first feedback on Zoyg was very positive. That gives me motivation to move forward. The character set is almost finished for an alpha version. That means 168 characters including diacritics and punctuation. Enough for setting a document or do some mockups. I plan to send the alpha version in the next newsletter to paid subscribers. Reach out if you want to get it as well, for free.

Zoyg font character set.

Bam! Inktober23 Recap and Remix

Poster mockup showcasing 31 drawings for Inktober 23.

Another challenge drawing (mostly) letters. After the 100 days of Lettering, after 36 Days of Type, my friend Francis challenged a group of people to tackle the Inktober challenge. Thirty-one drawings, a word to spark the daily design. Challenge accepted. The constraints I applied were: **paint it or ink it in red and no digital outputs**. Pens, paper, brushes, broad nib pens, red acrylic paint and bloody red ink. In the visual you see above, I’ve quickly vectorised the 31 drawings and played with the layout. I’m pretty sure it will help me in type specimens in the future. And working on rough and imperfect shapes helped me go for “good enough” solutions instead of shooting for perfect curves for letters.

You can see the drawings with more details on Marmite Defontes Instagram account.

Yes, the foundry is there too. I’m not promoting this channel that much. But I plan to post more regularly there: complimentary content from this newsletter, no recycled/rewashed stuff.

🎟️ For paid subscribers: Documenting my Process
Consider subscribing ;)

A Live Band with Brass, Bass and Badass Beats

  • Who: The Budos Band
  • Where: THING Festival at Fort Warden in Port Townsend, Washington
  • Recorded: August 25, 2023
  • Produced by: KEXP

I did pick again a live session followed by an interview, and not on purpose. My brain is for sure driven by patterns and repetition!

Those guys just rock. If you want instrumental, powerful, epic, loud, cinematic and definitely energetic sounds: go for it. Very efficient music to work if you ask me. Enjoy those 4 tracks and a mini interview about recording, touring and sci-fi.

That’s it for this autumn edition. Talk to you soon. Cheers!


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