Tobias Frere-Jones and Nina Stössinger will present their signage & identity typeface design for the new Essex Market, and share the thinking and process behind it. Newly housed in a brand new building (the Essex Crossing development on Delancey and Essex Streets, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan), this indoor food market itself has served the city for nearly three quarters of a century. The typeface anchors this newest incarnation of the market in its history, by referring back to some of the meat market’s earliest painted & neon signage. The designers have researched these original signs and reinterpreted them in contemporary form, adapting the fonts for various applications and media — including coming full circle to new neon signage. A case study that discusses questions of design, history, and technology; ways in which letterforms can shift and translate between eras and applications; and how the design of letters weaves into the story of the city and its visual memory.
Tobias Frere-Jones started designing letterforms at the age of sixteen, and has been a professional type designer since 1990. He has taught type design at Yale University since 1996, and in 2013 he received the AIGA Medal for achievements in the field of design. Tobias opened his own type design practice, Frere-Jones Type, in 2015.
Nina Stössinger is a Senior Typeface Designer at Frere-Jones Type in Brooklyn. She also teaches type design at Yale University School of Art, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Type Directors Club. Her published retail typefaces include Empirica and Conductor (both designed with Tobias Frere-Jones), Nordvest, and FF Ernestine. Also with Tobias Frere-Jones, she has co-designed custom typefaces for clients including the Essex Market and Academy Sports. Originally from Basel in Switzerland, Nina studied multi-media design in Halle/Germany, and type design in Zurich and The Hague. She has spoken at many conferences and events, and her work has been awarded numerous prizes and exhibited internationally.