About Luc(as) de Groot

Berlin-based Dutch type designer Luc(as) de Groot has worked with and for many well-known companies and publications. He has made custom fonts for prestigious newspapers such as Folha de S.Paulo, Le Monde, Metro and Der Spiegel in addition to creating corporate type for international companies including Sun Microsystems, Bell South, Heineken, Siemens and Miele. He designed two font families for Microsoft: the ‘monospaced’ font family Consolas, the new alternative to Courier; and Calibri, the new default typeface in MS Word.

De Groot founded his own type foundry, LucasFonts, in 2000.
Its aim, in a few words: to make the world a better place by designing typefaces that look good and work well under any circumstances and in many languages. Graphic designers across the planet have discovered the special qualities of Luc(as)’ fonts. They are attracted by their functionality and friendly appearance and love the enormous range of possibilities that each family offers. Many also appreciate the idiosyncrasies – a quest for extremes that has resulted in some of the narrowest, thinnest, wittiest or boldest typefaces around.

Photo © Franziska Toerring

Friedrich Forssman on Luc(as)

“Astonishingly, there seems to be a rule that a really good type designer cannot be a really good typographer – and vice versa. Fortunately there are also exceptions to the rule. The Dutch designer Luc(as) de Groot is a case in point. One might assume that a designer who has produced a type family that has grown to contain over 300 fonts (and the Thesis project is still being expanded) must be a highly specialized type designer; a designer whose work can only be appreciated by a small circle of colleagues.

This is not exactly the case for Luc(as) de Groot. Although specialized in type design, he is also a trained typographer. His approach to type design is the best approach to any design: dissatisfaction with what is available. When working on a broad range of typographic jobs – corporate design, magazines, books – he observed that most typefaces simply weren’t complete enough – that they did not provide enough weights, special glyphs and ligatures to be an adequate tool for complex tasks. And so he designed a type family that offers almost endless variety on the one hand, and is lively and wonderfully readable on the other – in all sizes, even in all-caps, without kerning or spacing corrections.

With this double talent as a type designer and typographer, Luc(as) de Groot has not yet been fully characterized. What makes him a sought-after speaker and a competent university professor – and a star of the scene – is his wit and self-irony. These qualities have also resulted in a number of idiosyncratic type designs which experiment with legibility or offer the user the possibility to steplessly morph inconspicuous grotesque capitals into pornographic grotesques. His sophisticated Thesis, by far the best structured type family available, as well as his numerous other typefaces, have also benefitted from De Groot’s ever-present playfulness, even at the conceptual stage. At the same time, his experimental alphabets are never arbitrary or random, but conceptually and formally thrilling.”

Detailtypografie by Friedrich Forssman and Ralf de Jong

Detailtypografie by Friedrich Forssman and Ralf de Jong

German typographer Friedrich Forssman is the author of several renowned text books on type and tyography. Among other works, he co-wrote and designed Detailtypografie, made in collaboration with Ralf de Jong and published by Hermann Schmidt Mainz Publishers. A bestseller in Germany, the book uses TheSans as its main typeface.