Posted in Typeface, Visual Language






Sometimes a surprise, sometimes as expected – MeM is an interactive type system with a wide range of individual personalities.

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MeM is an eccentric experimental type system created by Elena Schädel and Jakob Runge in 2012. It produces many personalities, each individual and emotive. You will never know which of the alternating letters is going to occur next. Basically, at the heart of it all is MeM: four different weights and letter shapes melded together into one powerful font and shuffled with the sleek usability of OpenType.

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The experimental uppercase font MeM blurs the boundaries between graphic and type design and prioritises style and creative flair over blatant legibility.

The many alternative letters of the typeface and the extremely different styles of the individual glyphs generate a vivid tension of geometric appearance and calligraphic shapes, as well as a contrasting mixture of highly expressive and highly delicate elements – Each letter is a small work of art itself.

It might look like an unique handset type but it is actually a rationalized font system! An automatic shuffle principle rotates the four alternate letters in all common design software to make sure no letter will repeat too soon. OpenType is the kicker, it not only shuffles the letters; it makes them easy to handle via the Stylistic Alternates: bolder and lighter letters can be used separately, or you can even strip down MeM to the four single weights. This gives you a powerful command over the artistic qualities of this unique font. From a complete random shuffle to careful selection of every character, the choice is all yours.

The font supports over 300 characters. Latin character sets from Western, Central and Southeast Europe and with the additional alternates, around 630 glyphs are rotating in the OpenType carousel.

The font is available at YouWorkForThem, HypeForType and MyFonts for $ 40. Further information about design and features on www.mem.26plus

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The concept of MeM emerged at the end of 2011. At this time Elena Schädel was researching the subject of social trends. She experimented with capturing the essence of a particular trend through the language of lettershapes. One of these trends is the “selfness” movement, which is expressed through extremely different, sometimes even spontaneous characters.

The development of these expressive vector graphics into a complete font may be questionable, however, the visual power of the letters and the wealth of character variants was an exciting incentive for Jakob Runge to embark on a daring type-collaboration: The planning of an experimental font with programmed random mechanism.

During the transfer of the design idea into a functional font and the attempt to achieve it through programming a natural variance, it was imperative that the artistic style of Elena Schädel should stay – just with a few necessary augmentations.

The different disciplines of the two designers was a good foundation for the creative and technical implementation: Despite the experimental design, it took many hours Skype conferencing to select variants, adjust shapes, add symbols, and space the letters.


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