Fred Smeijers

Guest teacher at TypeMedia

Fred Smeijers is a Dutch type designer researcher, educator, and author.

Educated at the school of art in Arnhem, he worked as a typographic advisor to the reprographic company Océ, then became a founding member of the graphic design practice Quadraat, which provided the name for his first published typeface (FontFont, 1992). Smeijers is a research fellow at Plantin Museum in Antwerp, professor of type design at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig, and visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and University of Reading.

Among the most versatile contemporary type designers, Smeijers has a whole range of distinctive typefaces to his credit: Renard (TEFF); Nobel (DTL); Arnhem, Fresco, Sansa, Custodia, Ludwig, Monitor, and Puncho – first published by OurType, the font label that he co-founded (with Rudy Geeraerts, Corina Cotorobai, and Martine Leloup) and led as creative director from 2002 to 2017.

In 2008 Fred Smeijers partnered with typographer Corina Cotorobai to establish Type Tailors - a firm specialising in proprietary type design, software, and typographic consultancy for brands and product manufacturers. Custom type designs include bespoke typefaces and lettering for Philips Electronics, Philips Medical Systems, Philips Lighting, Canon-Europe, Tom-Tom, Samsung, and Porsche – directed and produced at Type Tailors.

Fred’s first book - Counterpunch - has been published by Hyphen Press in 1996, followed by the second edition in 2011 and translations into French, Japanese, and Portuguese. In 2001 Smeijers was awarded the Gerrit Noordzij Prize for outstanding contribution to type design practice and education, part of which was a book about his work – Type Now (Hyphen Press, 2003). In 2016 the Society of Typographic Aficionados awarded Smeijers the SOTA Typography Award (Seattle, 2016).