Known for their packaging, Non Format combines simplified shapes with texture and color as typography. Jon and Kjell started making record sleeve covers for independent musicians which was great for them because they had as much freedom as they wanted. For specific projects they create their own fonts. Jon's favorite typeface is avant garde and Kjell's is hermes.
After reading a quick bio about them, they like simple but effective design. The most important thing to them is Heirarchy, and after that they use as few layers as possible especially when the layers are really detailed. "It’s really important to decide on the most important thing you want to communicate first and then make it work really hard." If your design is too jumbled with details of type and image, it will distract you from the message. "Also, it’s really important to remember that almost all design projects result in a finished object – whether that’s music packaging, a book, a magazine, a packet of crisps or a box of tissues. These objects are made up of a number of surfaces that should all work together to tell a story. The hands and the eyes work together over these surfaces, so the paper quality and texture is just as important as any print or production techniques employed, or choice of imagery, graphic elements or typography." I think the work they produce pushes type legebility, as well as has a nice aesthetically pleasing look to the geometric type.
Although I am not working with packaging, I enjoy the way their simplified type looks next to the images they produce. I am currently working on creating my own, geometric type but instead of having it a solid field of color I am working on packing texture, pattern and imagery into the shapes. I started creating type for the book 'the old man and the sea' and the images and textures i drew for the letters had to do with the content of the book (rope, wood, water, fish scales etc). I'm also working with how to show time within one frame. This really doesn't have anything to do with what non format is doing or even how it looks aesthetically, but i'm hoping somehow to combine the two. I'm photographing the subtitles of movies and stacking each line on top of each other to see how it looks. and voila, we have the whole movie condensed down into one image. I've learned through research that grids are still 'in', big flat color geometric type is cool overseas, and creating a legibal typeface is difficult when I apply my own restricitons for making it. I started with squares and the only thing i'm allowed to add to it are two size circles around the edges. This makes the letters 'g' and 'q' very tough to produce. I really need to sit down and think about these things more thoroughly.
Here are some type experiments i have been playing with:
I started looking at how to capture film into a single frame. this seems to be far off from typography.. but my original thought was to mask the 'movie' with the simple type I created for the movie poster/dvd/cover.the three frames are a forth of the movie The Professional and the bottom image is a frame stretch for some of the episode of south park. it might look nice, but i realized it really didn't have any application with typography...back to the drawing boards.