Located in a central district of Vienna, Austria, Roland Hörmann runs phospho; a studio that specializes in both graphic and type design. “I am always excited about graphic design jobs where I can bring in my lettering skills as a type designer,” Roland says. “My fascination for type undoubtedly came from my father’s Letraset catalogues, which I loved tracing letters in as a kid.”
In the early Nineties, long before he had decided to study graphic design, Roland began to dabble in type design and created a handful of experimental pixel fonts on the Commodore 64. It wasn’t until 2007, though, that he made his first serious attempts at type design, and in the following year, he published his first typeface, Adhesive Nr. Seven. Since then, he’s seen great success with standout designs like Luxus Brut, a timeless design that breathes the spirit of hand lettered signage of the 1950’s, and Gloss Drop, a wild, hand-lettered typeface that pulses with the spontaneous vibrancy of brush lettering. Roland works alongside Felix Auer, an associated designer who had a hand in creating phospho’s all-caps, display font Aquus.
The secret to Roland Hörmann’s success may be his passion project Stadtschrift: an association for the collection, preservation and documentation of historic façade signs. “We save unique signs from being scrapped and put them on display in the public again. So there is a big love for ancient shop signage and their typefaces, and the inspiration I draw from the heritage of the city makes phospho a heartfelt Viennese foundry.”