There’s a pretty good chance you’ve come across one of Ale Paul’s typefaces recently and not even realized it. The prolific Buenos Aires-based type designer and letterer was once an art director in some of Argentina’s most prestigious studios, working on brands like Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson, and Danone. In 2003, he co-founded Sudtipos, the first Argentinean type collective, and his focus shifted to type design.
Some of the first faces he designed were “experimental geometric or pixel fonts.” At Sudtipos, he created typefaces and lettering for packaging agencies, along with commercial faces. Indeed, there’s a direct relationship between Ale’s strong background in packaging design and Sudtipos’ specialization in scripts, a style that figures prominently in packaging. But no matter what he’s working on, he always designs with focus — which includes a clear idea of how designers will use his type.
Ale’s respect for — and long obsession
with — 20th-century American
calligraphy is evident in his work.
Inspiration and obsession
Inspiration is usually everywhere for a type designer, but there’s a recurring thread in many of Ale’s typefaces: travel. Travel might mean wanderings in his hometown or exploring neighborhoods in cities around the world. Supermarkets, he says, are one of the best places to absorb a place’s culture.
Ale’s respect for — and long obsession with — 20th-century American calligraphy is also evident in his work, including Compendium, Buffet Script, and the Bluemlein Script Collection.
Then and now
Ale also teaches the postgraduate type design course at the University of Buenos Aires, where he previously taught graphic design, with students from all over Latin America and Spain. He notes, “There are now more than 50 type designers with university degrees. And several South American designers are working on type design. That was just a dream in 2003!”