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It Started as a Typeface for Post-digital Letterpress Printing, and Then it Became Much More

This tracks the trajectory of an independent designer, letterpress printer, and dreamer, finding her purpose in creating unique typographic assets for a new market of contemporary letterpress arts, crafts, and other print and design-on-demand products. 

It started with designing Vine, a contemporary typeface to address the needs of post-digital letterpress production. In this production process, layouts are created in software using digital fonts, and the end-relief printing occurs through photopolymer plates generated from pdf files. Therefore the critical points of my type design brief became creating a typeface that could be resilient, both in legibility and aesthetics, to the distortions that happen in high-pressure prints, especially on soft thick papers, common conditions of contemporary letterpress. 

By the time I settled on a distinct design for Vine, it had gradually become clear that I had been arriving at a typeface that could have broader applications beyond the initial letterpress scope. With the flow and flexibility of its wavy stems and pointy endings echoing calligraphic gestures, the font has a distinct expression conveying a natural, friendly nature of a flexible sans.

As I reflected upon these results and moved forward into extending Vine to a multi-weight family, a new partnership with a Brazilian design studio, Versalete, expanded and transformed my initial project in ways I never anticipated. Most of all, it made me open my eyes to a new audience and marketplaces where typographic patterns and ornaments made from the organic letterforms of Vine can become unique digital assets in an era of DYI typography and design.

Ana Sofia Mariz

Ana Sofia Mariz

Ana Sofia Mariz is a Russian-Brazilian typographer, type designer, letterpress printer, and consultant based in Seattle, WA.
She started her career in the commercial book publishing industry in Brazil, working as an in-house designer and later as a founding partner and book designer at Versalete Studio in Rio de Janeiro. She earned her Master's degree in Design from PUC-Rio with the dissertation "Civilização Brasileira publishing house: The design of an editorial plan (1959-1970)."
She had been a faculty member of Unicarioca College in Rio de Janeiro, teaching typography, graphic design, and print production, among other disciplines. She also has published her research topics in books and magazines in Brazil.
Since relocating to Seattle in 2012, she got involved with letterpress printing becoming a member of an active local community. After taking the Summer program TDi at Reading University, she has been specializing in designing typefaces while continuing to work with various typographic projects. She's currently invested in developing her independent type foundry and design studio and the Type and Art Crafters collaboration initiative, where she has released Vine Craft font and collections of typographic patterns and ornaments.

Instagram @anasofiadesigns

Twitter @anasofiadesigns