Tomáš Brousil and Radek Sidun came to realise that a variety of great fonts has developed in the Czech Republic in the last twenty years but much the worse to chase them and purchase them to be used later. That’s why they make the common cause together and founded studio Briefcase Type Foundry that launches these fonts for further distribution.
Under the umbrella of Briefcase Type Foundry they represent foundry of best Czech graphic artists such as Petr Babák and Aleš Najbrt. Although the new generation doesn’t stay behind and designed most of the fonts that Briefcase works with today. One of the youngest members are, for example, Vojtěch Říha and Jan Novák who haven’t finished their studies yet while winning prestige prizes at home and abroad with their fonts.
Briefcase studio is, contrary to its reputation, disproportionally small – one room, beautiful terrace, three iMacs and a library full of inspiration. That’s all it takes for the team, which is completed by young student Petra Dočekalová, to save essential Czech type foundry from sinking into oblivion. Briefcase is closely bound to Prague – for its location in the city centre by the Old Town Square but also for its founders’ work at Prague UMPRUM. Apart from that, Briefcase spreads the glory of Czech foundry in the world, and thus, it finally starting to see its well-deserved recognition.
Briefcase is actually kind of a database of high-quality Czech fonts by top-class graphic artists. Have you also had any success abroad?
Definitely! The most recent example of this is the success of the font BC Mikser by designer Filip Kraus, who is also the author of the font Smalt on the new Prague street plates. We have published the font BC Mikser recently and have already managed to win the Communication Arts Magazine 2016 competition with it and gained a space in their typographical yearbook.
Do typographers design fonts tailored to the needs of each ‘patient’, or do they try to design universal fonts for various purposes?
Generally speaking, Briefcase Type Foundry creates only tailored fonts made for a special purpose or event.
Who are your clients and why do they choose fonts from you? Do small businesses also approach you?
We call them patients. Small companies, big companies, women, kids… everybody. The proportion of Czech and foreign clients is equal.
Who designs new fonts in our country today? Are they still the same well-known names or is there a new generation of typographers? Do you design new fonts in your studio, too?
We, in Briefcase, are something like the music group Milli Vanilli; we don’t do anything but everybody thinks we do everything. Fortunately, there have been many new type foundries coming to existence - Superior Type, Heavyweight, Signature Type... and soon there will be others. The flourishing generation of Czech typographers is very noticeable.
Do you think that a good font can be made for free?
There's no such thing as a free lunch.
How do you find the location of your studio in the centre of the Old Town? Do you have any favourite spots in the surrounding area?
It’s great here. UMPRUM, Fišer bookshop, restaurants U Parlamentu, and two Žabkas (convenience stores). There are also a lot of beautiful shops with Russian fur and cut glass. ;)