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Kamtchatka

The Kamchatka typeface, although titled with the name of a region of eastern Russia, which is known rather for its historic military importance than its cultural heritage, is the integrated design result of a series of projects that have as a main reference the typographic design and relevant experimentation of the constructivist period. Therefore, both the projects of the typographic elements of Kamchatka and the choice for uppercase lettering only, constitute a final outcome which could be described in the typographic language as strictly geometrical and symmetrical, with a strong willingness to abolish any extra decoration. The typeface tends to guide the designer during its use, imposing more the typesetting of large and bold titles and less the design and implementation in body text. The letters tend to become strict geometric forms in their turn, and as a result the final composed messages act both as text and cubo-furturistic illustrations. The design of the font commenced in early 2007 and was completed in mid 2008 on the occasion of the needs for the publication Five Seasons of the Russian Avant-Garde, commissioned by the State Museum of Contemporary Art. After that, the font was enhanced by the addition of the Extended weight. The design attempt of Kamchatka is not a digital mimicry of typographic typesetting of the Russian Avant-Garde, instead it constitutes an exploration, experimental development and redefinition of typographic elements of that period, being a work in progress.

The motive behind the design of Kamchatka is both aesthetic and highly experiential. The aesthetic influences of the font can be found in the great admiration of the works of Aleksandr Rodchenko, Liubov Popova and Gustav Klucic. The film Battleship Potemkin (1925) by Sergei Eisenstein is the experiential aspect of the process. The uprising of the rebel sailors aboard the battleship and the famous scene on the Odessa Steps formed, perhaps to an extent, part of my political beliefs even from my adolescence. It is interesting that many of the sailors who led the uprising against the officers of the battleship came from the peninsula of Kamchatka.

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