Peter Biľak works in the field of editorial, graphic, and type design. In 1999 he started Typotheque type foundry, in 2000, together with Stuart Bailey he co-founded art & design journal Dot Dot Dot, in 2012 he started Works That Work, a magazine of unexpected creativity, in 2015 together with Andrej Krátky he co-founded, a font rental platform. He collaborates with the choreographer Lukas Timulak on creation of modern dance performances, and together they started, a foundation for interdisciplinary artistic collaborations. Peter is teaching at the Type & Media, postgraduate course at the Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague. Member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale).

A book review of Theory of Type Design by internationally renowned type designer Gerard Unger, where he is delving into cultural, historical and social roots of type design and typography.
Reviews · 1 June 2021 · English · 878 words
Type design must consider not only the shape of the letters, but also the white space around them, which is essential for the ease of reading.
Essays · 25 May 2021 · English · 2010 words
A distração das mídias sociais pode levar a gritos de “deixe-me continuar com meu trabalho”. Para designers, não há fim na demanda para se estar fisicamente e digitalmente ‘na vitrine’. Porém, e se esse não for o seu modo de ser, ou se não foi esse o motivo que o levou a projetar? Para além de curtidas, seguidores, networking e conexões, para muitos a questão fundamental é: até que ponto o reconhecimento público é uma medida de sucesso?
Essays · 15 May 2021 · Portuguese · 1912 words
Um ensaio sobre a história e definição de famílias tipográficas, parâmetros para o design de tipos, e as possibilidades para criação de sistemas tipográficos ainda maiores hoje.
Essays · 15 May 2021 · Portuguese · 2990 words
The distraction of social media can lead to screams of ‘let me just get on with my work.’ For designers, the demand to be physically and digitally ‘out there’ is endless. But what if that is not how you are, or why you even wanted to design? Beyond the likes, followers, networking and connecting, for many people the fundamental issue is: to what extent is public recognition a measure of success?
Essays · 19 April 2021 · English · 1764 words
In the world driven by utility and performance, is there a room for open-ended typographic play system, that allows to discover something that was not entirely planned, something that the system hoped to allow, but could not guarantee?
Typeface stories · 22 June 2020 · English · 1112 words
In less than three decades, web typography has caught up to and even surpassed print typography. A brief look into how we got to where we are today.
Essays · 22 October 2019 · English · 1450 words
The five centuries that followed Gutenberg and his moveable typefaces defined the possibilities of Roman serif type. The current possibilities of sans typefaces were defined over the course of the 20th century. Notes about types that inspired the Ping typeface.
Essays · 11 March 2019 · English · 955 words
It is not very often that I come across type that is so unusual, so strikingly different that I can’t place it. Hansje van Halem’s Wind is one of those rare examples, so I asked her if we could publish it
Typeface stories · 8 December 2017 · English
An article on the process of designing typefaces for the language other than your own — challenges of looking at unfamiliar patterns, letters, and their cultural significances.
Essays · 5 October 2017 · English · 1920 words
From the single-style, monolingual fonts of the metal-type era to the complex, sprawling, multi-script families of the digital present, typography and type design have evolved, not only to embrace developments in print and communication technology, but also to support a world where unity and diversity must meet if we are to survive.
Essays · 2 October 2017 · English · 1302 words
Von den einsprachigen single-style-Fonts der Bleisatzära zu den komplexen, umfangreichen Multi-Script-Familien der digitalen Gegenwart haben sich Typografie und Schriftgestaltung weiterentwickelt, nicht nur um sich den Veränderungen in Druck- und Kommunikationstechnik anzupassen, sondern auch um eine Welt zu fördern, in der Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede zusammen finden müssen.
Essays · 2 October 2017 · German · 1235 words
Uni Grotesk is a modern adaptation of the ubiquitous but awkward Universal Grotesk, a typeface that dominated communist Czechoslovakia.
Typeface stories · 7 March 2016 · English · 1550 words
Nel novembre del 2010 Peter Biľak è stato invitato a intervenire alla conferenza di un giorno tenutasi a Copenaghen ‘Conceptual Type - Type led by ideas’; tema del convegno, le idee che stanno alla base della progettazione dei caratteri. Questo intervento si interroga sulle possibilità dei caratteri concettuali e compara il type design ad altre discipline.
Essays · 18 November 2013 · Italian
Lava was designed to bridge the digital and print editions of a newly designed magazine.
Typeface stories · 5 September 2013 · English · 689 words
Article on the process of designing Karloff typeface, showing just how closely related beauty and ugliness are.
Typeface stories · 25 September 2012 · English · 957 words
Peter Biľak speaks to Irma Boom about how her design practice developed over the past decade.
Interviews · 23 July 2012 · English · 2942 words
En este breve ensayo se evalúan las percepciones equivocadas acerca de la tipografía occidental en general y la pertinencia del uso de la terminología eurocéntrica en torno a los tipos.
Essays · 23 May 2012 · Spanish · 1012 words
Este articulo discute los métodos de distribución convencionales de la tipografía digital y sus alternativas. Fue escrito originalmente para el Centre National des Arts Plastiques y esta enfocado al ámbito de la tipografía en Francia.
Essays · 23 May 2012 · Spanish · 1725 words
Greta Sans was been planned from the outset as a system of interrelated styles. From the very beginning, work proceeded on multiple styles simultaneously. This text is a reflection on the process of designing large typeface systems.
Typeface stories · 25 April 2012 · English · 1709 words
What is the value of type competitions? A brief reflection on the common practice of awards hunting.
Essays · 20 March 2012 · English · 620 words
Julien is a playful geometric display typeface loosely inspired by the early 20th century avant-garde. It is based on elementary shapes and includes multiple variants of each letter.
Typeface stories · 12 November 2011 · English · 630 words
Is there any reason to make new fonts when there are so many already available for downloading? It's time to reflect on motivation to draw new type. While there is no reason to make uninspired new fonts, still, there are typefaces which haven’t been made yet and which we do need.
Essays · 15 July 2011 · English · 492 words
In November 2010 Peter Biľak was invited to give a talk at a one-day conference ‘Conceptual Type – Type led by ideas’ in Copenhagen about the underlying ideas behind typefaces. This lecture questions the possibility of conceptual type and compares type to other disciplines.
Essays · 24 February 2011 · English · 1738 words
A real-life situation that forced a type designer to evaluate his profession. One small typographic detail (an incorrect version of the diacritic over the letter L) caused troubles with the authorities. With a happy end.
Essays · 25 September 2010 · English · 1466 words
Hinting, or screen optimising, is the process by which TrueType or PostScript fonts are adjusted for maximum readability on computer monitors. This text compares different ways of hinting (black & white, grey-scale, ClearType, DirectWrite), and explains the behaviour of fonts under different rasterisers.
Tutorials · 17 May 2010 · English · 1920 words
Two years after releasing History, Peter Bilak reflects on the process of creating this skeletal system in which different styles are imposed on a Roman capital base. Previous experiments are mentioned, as well as inspiration sources for the typeface.
Typeface stories · 9 March 2010 · English · 1792 words
Article written for the Centre national des arts plastique, discussing conventional distribution methods of digital typefaces and their alternatives. The text focuses primarily on the French typography scene.
Essays · 21 December 2009 · English · 1763 words
Article written for the Centre national des arts plastique, discussing conventional distribution methods of digital typefaces and their alternatives. The text focuses primarily on the French typography scene.
Essays · 20 December 2009 · French · 2068 words
Third in the heavily subsidised series ‘Graphic design in the Netherlands’, Jan van Toorn, Critical Practice takes on the difficult task of exploring and striving to elucidate the work of Jan van Toorn (JvT), a designer who is not always clear about his intentions, who makes frequent use of inexplicable images and text, and whose work is often described with concepts such as ‘alienation’, ‘incomprehensibility’, ‘defamiliarisation’, ‘digressions’ and ‘intrusion’.
Reviews · 16 July 2008 · English · 896 words
More than 35 years after the seminal art book Ways of Seeing was published, Peter Biľak looks closely at its continuing relevance.
Reviews · 5 June 2008 · English · 1256 words
A short essay scrutinising the general misconceptions of western typography, and the appropriateness of Euro-centric type terminology.
Essays · 3 May 2008 · English · 989 words
An essay on the history and definition of type families, type design parameters, and the possibilities of creating larger type systems today.
Essays · 31 January 2008 · English · 2705 words
What do we mean by the term typography? Before starting any discussion it is useful to clarify the terminology and definition of the word. This is a first from the regular columns that Peter Bilak writes for online version of the Swedish magazine CAP & Design.
Essays · 13 May 2007 · English · 512 words
Essays · 11 April 2007 · Korean · 1501 words
Essays · 11 December 2006 · French · 1345 words
Review of India’s first design conference, held in 2006 in Goa.
Reviews · 23 September 2006 · English · 656 words
Essay accompanying the exhibition Graphic Design in the White Cube during the 22nd International Biennale of Graphic Design Brno 2006. Nineteen designers and collectives were commissioned to design posters for the design exhibition in which they were to participate. Instead of bringing work from the outside to the gallery, the work is made for the gallery. Instead of recreating the context for the exhibition, gallery conditions are the context for the work.
Essays · 17 June 2006 · English · 2245 words
As a teacher of type design and typography I have always wished for a book which I could recommend to my students without hesitation, and so I was excited to receive Karen Cheng’s Designing Type. As the author remarks in her introduction, there are simply very few books that explain the type design process comprehensively.
Reviews · 13 May 2006 · English · 267 words
An honest appraisal of the role discussions about type design have in the broader culture today, and why there is a need for a more cohesive discussion within the field.
Essays · 7 June 2005 · English · 1142 words
El no-diseño como una repuesta al sobre-diseño y el manierismo contemporáneo. Alegato a favor de un diseño que, tomando en cuenta su contexto, responda a las necesidades de comunicación y no a modas pasajeras con las que el diseñador luce su virtuosismo técnico.
Essays · 7 June 2005 · Spanish · 2373 words
Essays · 7 June 2005 · Spanish · 1463 words
Graphic designer Willem Sandberg became the director of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum in 1945. From that time until 1962 he designed almost all the printed matter for the Stedelijk and transformed the museum, introducing new ideas into the stuffy world of museums of that time.
Reviews · 11 May 2005 · English · 1094 words
Una honesta valoración del papel que las discusiones sobre diseño tipográfico juegan hoy en la cultura general, y porqué hay necesidad de discusiones más integradoras dentro de la disciplina.
Essays · 11 May 2005 · Spanish · 1257 words
El diseño tipográfico como conocimiento acumulado y continuidad: una mirada al papel de los diseñadores de tipos, la historia y la tecnología, los revivals y la invención.
Essays · 11 May 2005 · Spanish · 861 words
Una breve mirada al enfoque ‘sintético’ con que Peter Bilak entiende el diseño de tipos. Se examina Eureka, su diseño anterior, y las recientes familias de Fedra.
Essays · 11 May 2005 · Spanish · 1145 words
The introduction to a series of interviews and articles by and about Martin Majoor, the designer of Scala, Seria, Telefont and others.
Features · 1 February 2005 · English · 221 words
An epistemology of the word ‘experimental’ as it applies to design and type, contrasted with its scientific connotations. Examples of past and current design, type and reading/language, as well as scientific experiment, are taken into account.
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 2063 words
Type design as accumulated knowledge and continuity: a look at the role of type designers, history and technology, revivals and invention.
Essays · 1 December 2004 · English · 774 words
A critical review of the London-based design group’s second collection of work, published in 2004. Peter Biľak’s review, first appearing in Items magazine, poses questions about the role of self-promotional design publishing as he describes the visually stimulating work of a contemporary design studio.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 592 words
A critical review of a new book featuring excerpts of Marshall McLuhan’s work, designed by David Carson. Tha author considers the complex task of illustrating McLuhan’s intricate work, and whether or not Carson’s visual devices are successful.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 675 words
A critical review of the design book Restart, first appearing in Items first issue. Some very well-known designers’ work is featured in this modern vs. post-modern, 175 page book from two London-based authors.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 613 words
A review of John Maeda's monograph from 2000. A critical look at the book's design, and the philosophy and work of the new media designer/artist.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 540 words
An essay about the design culture which is specific to the Netherlands.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 1989 words
A mid-90s account of the development and current state of Dutch design and type in the context of its cultural and political history.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 1756 words
Martin Majoor, known for his typefaces Scala and Seria, is interviewed by Peter Biľak. The origins of his type, book design and working methods are discussed.
Interviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 1219 words
The prolific founder of Werkplaats Typografie, Karel Martens focuses on the design of the Dutch architectural magazine OASE in his 1999 conversation with Peter Biľak.
Interviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 1412 words
A discussion from the late 1990s with Erik van Blokland and Just van Rossum about their work as type designers and programmers.
Interviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 2326 words
A mid-1990s discussion of the state of type design, graphic design in the Netherlands and emerging digital media.
Interviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 1641 words
Design is concerned with creations of form, rather than philosophical discussions about holism and acceptance of non-form. However, can the absence of matter teach us more about our true nature?
Essays · 19 February 2004 · English · 2088 words
Irma Boom, one of the world’s foremost book designers, discusses her working methods, preferences, and the nature of free-range design.
Interviews · 29 November 2001 · English · 1590 words