On January 21st the new reception building of the Technische Universität Darmstadt was festively inaugurated. The central building of the Technical University – a bright pavilion – is the "arrival hall" of the institution, and welcomes students, scientists, co-workers and guests to the university. The LED display which is central to the information system uses FontStruct fonts.
Last summer Fuenfwerken Design won the pitch for a design concept for the new information centre. The well-known university chose Fuenfwerken Design over several other agencies to design its recently completed reception building. The focus of the project rests on promoting interaction and communication between visitors and members of the famous university's academic community.
Working with Berliner architect Martin Schmitt, Fuenfwerken has developed a spatial concept that unites the architecture and its communications goals. The building is meant to serve as a prominent "calling card" for the university. The central communication medium and heart of the building is a 16 meter (52+ feet) long LED display.
For numerous days Fuenfwerken looked for an suitable pixel font for the illuminated information panel. Upon concluding they were not satisfied with the commercially available designs they did some attempts to create bitmap fonts themselves. Those unfortunately didn't look good on the LED display, and this is when Fuenfwerken manager Helmut Ness remembered FontStruct.
Our coworker Daniël Schops eventually came up with the idea to design a test font with the FontShop online font generator FontStruct… and guess what: from the get-go it looked perfect on the giant display.
They eventually created four pixel faces which were installed on the LED display. The typefaces somewhat remind me of Neville Brody's FF Pop. The original was designed for German teen magazine POP, and the LED version specifically adapted for an LED display in a museum.
It's nice to see that FontStruct fonts are used in professional applications. Three fonts designed by Daniël Schops by Fuenfwerken are available for download:
TU DotMatrix CondensedTU DotMatrix Medium CondensedTU DotMatrix Bold Condensed