Designer: Jangs Müller
Foundry: Jangs Müller Type Foundry
Released: October 2018
Backstory: Jangs Müller Type Foundry is a one-man project run by a graphic designer who goes by the name of Jangs Müller, currently working out of New Haven, Connecticut. Its fonts are largely conceptual and ornamental—often engaging with design history, contemporary typography, or technology. Take Mies, for instance: a stencil font that’s weighty, rigid, and industrial like the designs of its namesake; or Opcode, which is designed from binary 0s and 1s.
“While I do follow a certain work process, I don’t have a standard rulebook. Everything around me gives shape to my creative process,” says Müller. “I place a lot of importance on designing constraints and parameters, which then provide the foundation for visual elements or modules to build from.”
The designer’s latest release started as many of his designs do: a file of sketches on his desktop. Eventually Müller named it “Barail,” a word that appeared intuitively. Its design is based on the concept that the main aim of a typeface is to facilitate reading and writing, so Müller focused on the notion that it is a fundamentally utilitarian tool. “The action of writing as author, and reading as reader, represents two sides of a linear journey, a railroad-trip,” says Müller. “This font reflects the simple modules of a railway track that enables people travel to and from where they want to go.” Its blocky, modular forms, then, subtly represent the way communication travels from writer to reader through letterforms.
Why’s it called Barail? As a nod to that metaphor of rails and railway lines.
What are its distinguishing characteristics? There are similar modular typefaces, but what differentiates Barail is that most of these are mono-spaced, whereas Barail is grid-spaced. Its simple components are made of bars that are sliced at either 45 or 90 degrees. In this way, Barail is almost like a puzzle made from carefully slotted individual elements. It appears architectural, weighty, and solid, as if made from heavy rods of iron and steel. The sharp upper slope of the capital B is particularly striking in its unique dissymmetry from the rest of the characters.
How should I use it? For simple, straightforward communication—or when channeling the utilitarian effects of a live departure board at the train station. It’s engaging as a headline font, and could work well for both logos or across packaging.
“The attraction of type design for me is the uncertainty of how other designers will understand, interpret, and use the font,” adds Müller. “I personally do not have suggestions on how Barail should be used, and I want to see it in unexpected places and used in unexpected ways.”
What should I pair it with? It pairs well with any typeface, as its a heterogeneous font. We suggest coupling it with other Jangs Müllers’s fonts, such as Knedge, to create an unusual, vibrantly expressive, and intriguing jumble.