The LucasFonts Team
Based in Berlin, Germany, LucasFonts is a bustling type design studio with a small, dedicated team of designers and type technicians. At times, talented students or graduates are invited to join the team temporarily as interns.
Here are some of the key people who are currently instrumental in producing LucasFonts typefaces or providing service.
Luc(as) de Groot, director. Luc(as) is also a father, husband, illustrator and master of many crafts. As a devoted type technician and hinting lover, he invented the Anisotropic Topology-Dependent Theory of Interpolation, and teaches type design at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany. He runs his type foundry LucasFonts and design studio FontFabrik in Berlin and gives lectures around the world. His overall aim: to make the world a better place by designing typefaces that look pleasant and work well under any circumstances and in as many languages as possible.
More about Luc(as) de Groot
Lieselotte Schäfer, office manager. The person you are most likely to encounter first when contacting LucasFonts is Lieselotte. She handles sales as well as administrative tasks; and speaks German and English. Lieselotte studied Communication Design with a focus on Visual and Motion Design at BTK (Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule).
Jan Fromm, type and web designer. A graduate of the University of Applied Science in Potsdam, Jan was enlisted as a LucasFonts collaborator when he was still a student in Luc(as) de Groot’s type designing class at that school. Together with former fellow student Frank Rausch he conceived and designed the LucasFonts website. Jan is a freelance type designer since 2003, and also works on web and screen-based design projects. To him, a deep understanding of typography is a fundamental component of a graphic designer’s work. Jan’s extended sans-serif type family Camingo was MyFonts’ text font of the year 2006.
Niels Poppe, software developer. Niels and Luc(as) met in 1989 while Niels was a DTP operator at Tel Design in The Hague, doing wild things on the side such as programming raw PostScript. They found that their very different viewpoints and skills were wonderfully compatible, and have cooperated in various ways ever since. Niels was involved in setting up the LucasFonts and FontFabrik digital back offices and developed the complex software behind our web shop.
Sonja Knecht, writer. Sonja was born in Indonesia, grew up in Venezuela and found Berlin her place to be (and LucasFonts her home office). She loves letters and deeply cares about how we design (with) language. Sonja supports institutions, design agencies, their clients, and individuals in their communications. She is deeply rooted in classical copy writing and corporate storytelling. She finds the right words and ways for what you want to say. As Edenspiekermann’s Director Text (2008–2015), Sonja established their blog and worked for well-known corporate brands. She expanded her activities to TYPO Berlin and other type-related platforms to feature text and type, type pepole, type projects, their cultural implications. Since 2016, Sonja teaches at Berlin University of the Arts, and, since 2017, at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle.
Dmitri Sorokin, type engineer. Dmitri was a founding member of FontFabrik when Luc(as) de Groot’s first company was launched in 1997. He has been part of the team ever since, contributing to the finer points in type design and production. Together with Luc(as), Dmitri invented the science of kerning, Kernologica.
Jens Kutílek, type engineer. Jens was born in Germany in 1976. His first encounters with typography involved his mother’s typewriter and spotting an fi ligature in a childrens’ book shortly after learning to read. Jens made his first pixel fonts on a Commodore 64 (at age 14). His interest in art and technology led him to places as diverse as an unfinished university course in engineering, occasional gigs as a songwriter, working as a system administrator and computer technician, doing a performance piece at the Venice Biennale, playing bass in an accordion orchestra, and getting a degree in Graphic Design from the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in his hometown Braunschweig. From 2007, Jens worked at the FontFont Type Department in Berlin for nine years, where he developed his profound programming and type design skills. His first serious design, the text typeface family FF Hertz, was released in 2015 and has been selected among Typographica’s “Favorite Fonts of 2015”. Jens gave presentations about font technology at typography events across Germany and taught a type design course in Braunschweig. He joined LucasFonts in 2016.
Nadya Kuzmina, type and interface designer. Born in Ukraine and raised in Veliky Novgorod – one of the oldest cities in Russia — Nadya studied medicine before her dream to connect her life with letters took shape. So after graduation, Nadya worked as a photographer and designer on several web projects she created with her husband and friends.
In 2013, she started to study and work at the calligraphic school “Ot Aza do Izhici” in St. Petersburg, where she launched and managed online courses. Then in 2015, she moved to Germany and began to study interface design at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, where she met Luc(as). Nadya joined LucasFonts in February 2018. While working on the interface design and web development of the new version of lucasfonts.com, she set up a photo studio in a corner of the office and began to archive Luc(as)’s work. Now and then, she works on type design projects, too – especially when there is Cyrillic. In 2016, she created an experimental font for the pixel-art game “Mogee,” which is open sourced and distributed as an elm-package. She also runs a website for supporting open source projects. Furthermore, she continues to work on the Iverni project — a modern interpretation of the old Cyrillic and Greek Vyaz. The intersection of type design and new technologies are the challenges that excite Nadya the most.
Ethan Cohen, type designer. Born and raised in New York City, Ethan moved to Berlin to join LucasFonts after receiving his masters in Type and Media at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. He likes cats, type, music (he plays guitar and 5-string banjo), coffee, calligraphy, board games, and coding (in that order), and nothing else. Before moving to Europe he worked at Mucca Design, studied typeface design at The Cooper Union’s Type@Cooper Extended Program, served as Scholarship Chair on the Board of Governors of Society of Scribes (NYC’s non-profit calligraphy organization), taught some calligraphy classes, played in a bunch of bands, taught music at elementary schools, and was the Director of Business & Legal Affairs at an independent record label and music publishing company.
Esteemed friends, freelancers and former members of our team
Daria Petrova, type designer. Daria Petrova, type designer, coven leader, and princess of darkness. Born in Russia, Daria primarily focuses on Cyrillic type and has a taste for the macabre. She studied book design at the University of Printing Arts in Moscow but became a type design convert after meeting Luc(as) de Groot at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. After a long-term internship with us, she graduated from the Type and Media program at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague with her “Ritual” typeface, which she designed for gravestones, her life-long passion. Daria then returned to LucasFonts in 2016. By day, she draws friendly, decent letter shapes. On nights and weekends, she performs penance for this: her bizarre after-hours creations can be found on FutureFonts. She wants to retire in Italy.
Dan Reynolds, type designer. Born in the United States, Dan studied graphic design in America and Germany before completing the MA Typeface Design course at the University of Reading in 2008. Since 2009, he’s been a part-time academic, and he submitted his doctoral dissertation in design history to the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig in 2018. Dan entered the type industry through a job at Linotype GmbH in 2004, where he worked for about seven years. Later, he was a freelance copywriter, font developer, and/or type designer for the following fine firms: Darden Studio, FontFont, Fontstore, the Indian Typefoundry, MyFonts.com, Photo-Lettering, and the Typejockeys. Dan is a fierce advocate of the Berlin Typostammtisch, having co-founded the first Typostammtisch of the modern Typostammtisch movement back in Offenbach am Main in 2004. Laika, Dan’s wonderful dog, is not allowed in the LucasFonts office.
Thom Janssen, font maker. Thom is Dutch. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and a master’s degree from Type and Media at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague (KABK). He loves the combination of type and technology. That’s why he is reading the instruction manual for FontLab Studio 5. Besides type, Thom’s interests range from entomology and astronomy to mathematics, making and flying kites, playing board games, and – of course – the Commodore 64. Thom is very much in love with his girlfriend Lotte and with their two cats, Ollie and Bella, who are always very welcome at the LucasFonts office.
Philipp Bernhard Neumeyer, typographer, type and graphic designer par excellence. Philipp was born and raised in North Germany where he studied communication design at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Kiel (MAFAD). In 2014, he graduated with a BA in typography and type design. In the same year he attended the Type And Media master course at the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Den Haag (KABK) from which he graduated in summer of 2015. Initially Philipp only took some forays into type design to fulfil his own typographical needs, but somehow he got hooked on it and tried to make the best out of this disposition. So, Philipp moved to Berlin in September 2015 and started working at LucasFonts. When he is not busy with designing type or writing super sophisticated texts about himself with the only strategy of repeating his own name over and over again, Philipp keeps starting new projects to be finished some fine day in the far future. While you are reading this, Philipp is going strong becoming the employee of the month April.
Aleksandra Samuļenkova, type designer. She studied art and design at the Latvian Art Academy in Riga and at Kunsthochschule Weißensee in Berlin, where she took a type design course with Luc(as). She continued studying type and graduated at the Type and Media master program in The Hague, and came back to Berlin as a faithful follower of the Dutch (Noordzij) type design school. Aleksandra’s graduating project Pilot has won the first prize as a titling face at The Fine Press Association’s inaugural Student Type Competition, and is cast in metal. She enjoys working at LucasFonts – first as a long-term intern, since 2011 as employee. Aleksandra speaks English, German, Latvian as well as Russian – and yes, she has several typefaces waiting in the wings to be released.
Edgar Walthert, type and graphic designer. Swiss-born Edgar specialized in type design at the Type and Media course of the KABK in The Hague, Luc(as)’s alma mater. He joined the LucasFonts team in 2007 and currently works from the Netherlands as an independent graphic designer and type designer. His type family Agile, released through Village’s Incubator, was among the Favorite Typefaces of 2011 on Typografica.
Sylvain Mazas. French-born Sylvain fell in love with type while sketching type he encountered on the streets and while digging up old metal type in different letterpress workshops. Since 2007 Sylvain started to fly to Beirut on a regular basis, improving his Arabic language skills and researching Arabic type, which he did mainly at LucasFonts as our dedicated right-to-left specialist until 2014. (We also enjoyed his qualifications as chef in our kitchen!) Sylvain continues to work on several kinds of type and type-related creative projects, including music and video, lettering, illustration, and writing. Comprising these, Sylvain publishes graphic novels about his intercultural experiences and expands his work on Arabic type.
Melle Diete, type designer and illustrator. Melle got into type design in 2004 when taking part in Luc(as) de Groot’s type class at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, where she graduated in visual communications in 2012. She worked on typographic projects in design agencies and created typefaces based on her illustrative handwriting, digitizing her sketches or using handicraft techniques for creating the letters. Since 2008, she releases Typefaces on MyFonts and Volcano Type – Fidelia Script and Gingar being maybe the best known. She joined our team from 2010 to 2013.
Martina Flor, designer and letterer. Martina grew up in Buenos Aires and came to Berlin via Barcelona and The Hague. Her portfolio comprises identity and communication design, type design and lettering. Martina gained a Postgraduate in Communication Design in Escola Elisava, a Master in Type and Media in KABK and conducting research at HS Anhalt. She worked as a lecturer herself at the University of Buenos Aires and at Hochschule Anhalt. She got notorious for her workshops in type design and lettering, and for her self-initiated projects like Lettering vs. Calligraphy – “a battle between letterer Martina Flor & calligrapher Giuseppe Salerno”. Martina was part of our team from 2011 to 2012 and worked on the extension of Calibri and Corpid.
Frederik „fRED“ Bordfeld, graphic designer. fRED calls himself a “visualist”. He works as graphic designer and as visual jockey (VJ) on several ocasions. On Twitter, he claims to “try to disappear“. Follow him anyways. fRED supported the LucasFonts team from 2002 to 2004, working on customer projects and optimizing our office environment.
Anton Koovit, type technician. Born in Estonia, Anton Koovit studied graphic design in Tallinn, Paris and Amsterdam. He graduated from the Type and Media program at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, and settled in Berlin. Together with Yassin Baggar, Anton established the independent type foundry Fatype. He provides know-how for taylor-made typefaces, logotypes and letterings. At LucasFonts he does programming and hinting. Lately he got noted for digitizing the original typeface created for the U8 subway line in Berlin in the 1920s – or what was left of it. His complete U8 alphabet was successfully released in 2013.
Elena Albertoni, type designer. After a thorough education in type and typography in Amiens and Paris, France, Italian-born Elena joined LucasFonts to perfect her type designing and programming skills. She is especially interested in the way OpenType technology can be used to enrich typographic performance. Among her own typeface are the spirited script face Dolce and the Gregoria font for the notation of Gregorian chant, both of which won her awards in the TDC type design competition.
Hannes Famira, type designer and teacher. Hannes studied graphic and typographic design at the KABK (Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague) in the Netherlands. He worked at Studio Dumbar, at the Font Bureau, Meta Design, the Buro Petr van Blokland, and House Industries. He started his studio Das Kombinat in 1999. He taught at the School for Design in Basel, the New Jersey City University, the Kunsthochschule Kassel and the, amongst other academic activities. Currently Hannes is a lecturer at the Type@Cooper program. At LucasFonts, Hannes helped to extend the Floris family.
Jan Middendorp, page maker and type writer. Jan works as editor at MyFonts and is deeply rooted in both the Berlin and the international type design community. He is the author of several books on type: Dutch Type, Shaping Text, Type Navigator, and Hand to Type, which soon become standards in their respective fields. Jan developed the printed version of the LucasFonts catalogue and took care of our printed ads from 2006 until 2008.
Ollie Peters, motion graphic designer. Ollie worked on the first version of the LucasFonts website and other projects together with us. With Sven Zuege he founded their Studio Filmgraphik in 2004. They develop, design and produce graphic design, motion graphics, film title sequences, broadcast design and logos.