“The ambitious people who stand out,” Jonathan Hill said in a Creative Characters interview, “are the ones who make their ideas a reality.” Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Jonathan created The Northern Block after having worked as a graphic designer in the thriving local music industry in Sheffield. “My breakthrough came,” he said, “with a job offer at a company called Mainartery, a London-based studio working mainly for clients in the music industry. They helped to refine my typographic skills which then led to a more professional interest in fonts.” After several years in a London studio, he moved back to North East England to set up his own logo and type design studio.
Mariya Pigoulevskaya joined Johnathan’s studio after graduating from University. “I could not miss this golden opportunity,” she said. “My understanding of type at that time was limited, although I had some experience of producing custom fonts for personal and student illustration projects. After meeting Jonathan in person, he gave me an opportunity to be a part of The Northern Block and share his experience and knowledge.”
Their company’s type library is a fast-growing and increasingly popular collection of type families. They are known for producing modernist work with clean, geometric aesthetic that appeals to the latest breed of font buyers including electronics manufacturers, mobile app developers and video game designers. In 2013, their Bauhaus-inspired typeface, Cobert, was listed among MyFonts’ most popular sans serif designs. “I try to combine two conflicting pursuits in my work,” Mariya noted, “functionalism and individuality.”