Pantograph variable font, Fontsynth poster editor

Use of the fontsynth poster editor. Diploma 2019, Sebastian Knöbber

Hand-bills, advertisements, posters and printed goods from the late 18th/early 19th century have become iconic in history of graphic design. Since the use of hand cut wood letters, and how to deal with (white) space on an analogue printing press, there is special esthetics and big magic about the golden age of show print poster shops. Nowadays exceedingly few of us will still design and manufacture posters manually on the printing bed ever again after graduation, let alone space issues or the loss of material. As you see next I’m a big fan of that kind of posters. As I was sick of using countless different fonts and styles of different font families to establish the good old look, I wished for a single variable font to give me the flavour of ink and solvents under finger nails. I ever wondered why there wasn’t such, so I did one and they gave me a diploma in return. Or at least they intent to, when I finished my last essays.

fontsynth poster editor, Diploma 2019, Sebastian Knöbber

In the specially developed web-based poster editor, all parameters of the font, the typesetting and the layout are controlled intuitively by hand with an adapted MIDI controller instead of getting lost in the nested submenus with the cursor. Just like a synthesizer shapes the sound of an oscillator – what you see is what you get.

historical inspiration, Diploma 2019, Sebastian Knöbber
pantograph specimen, Diploma 2019, Sebastian Knöbber

Type design

Wideload, type revival, specimen poster, Sebastian Knöbber

Inspired by a huge collection of original wood letters we have in our printshop at HBKsaar, I wanted to give back some love to some of the missing glyphs. First I made some proof prints on our old FAG printing press, then digitized the preserverd letter forms and analysed the characteristics. Then I was able to complete the missing glyphs and draw useable display fonts of it.

Roundsquare, type revival, specimen poster, Sebastian Knöbber

Another approach was to find out how little of a blank page in the font editor, a simple square, must be cut out to make it look like lettters – or rather make them legible? Also I started to explore the world of interpolating font styles. So it happened to be the following blocky yet dynamic family. Somehow between massive bricks and fragile outlines to complement each other.

Space invader, experimental variable font, Sebastian Knöbber

Writings on the wall

Redundant botanical terminology, risography, Sebastian Knöbber

„Redundant botanical terminology“ — risography

Crosswords, Billboard, Sebastian Knöbber

„Crosswords“ — billboard, university campus HBKsaar

more to come …


SushiBar Restaurant Staionary Redesign, Sebastian Knöbber

Corporate identity for – obviously – a japanese specialty restaurant named after the dishes they serve. It’s not the fanciest name, nor the coolest spot in the town, so at least they had to get the most memorable menus. And cards. And chopstick sleves. Intentionally no cheesy photographs of foreign meals, therefore simple illustrations for different types of sushi art.

SushiBar Advertising Poster, Werbung Plakat, Sebastian Knöbber

Running Sushi advertising posters, no further explanation needed – just passing by and stays in mind.

Cafe Lolo Restaurant Staionary Redesign, Sebastian Knöbber

Near the university there is an old cafe, which is run by a family in the third generation. They are bakers, confectioners and restaurateurs, and they have a famous butter cake that they sell in large quantities and even ship them all over the country – but they have no sense of design.
So the menu concept shows a simple but fine photographic representation of the original tableware whether you want to order a coffee or a piece of cake, or whether you are sitting in the branch in a large bookstore.

Kaffeh Kaffee Packaging Design Branding, Sebastian Knöbber


What is it to be a product? How to stand out in an supermarket shelf? Attract attention and you will be loved! Except you’re very pricy, which will lead people to buy you for posing, you just have to show exactly from the first view what’s inside. A brand is a promise. On the other hand, if you have to wear the cheap shop label, you don’t have to wear a cheap design just to get recognized.

Eigenmarke Supermarkt Brand Branding Packaging, Sebastian Knöbber