Writing the Memory of the City
Yevgeniy Anfalov and
A lecture by Yevgen Anfalov and Oleś Gergun, founders of KTF (Kyiv Type Foundry). The lecture will take the form of typographical dérive through the city of Kyiv, layering the city’s state of emergency and the founders' intimate geography of the place they grew up in. The talk will contextualize KTF’s ongoing typographic research as part of the variety of its founders' practices such as hunting for design povera, flaneurism, and cultural studies.
Kyiv Type Foundry (KTF) offers retail and custom fonts and opens new perspectives on Cyrillic-based heritage. Founded by Yevgeniy Anfalov and Oleś Gergun and based in Kyiv and Hannover. Our catalog reflects our belief in tradition and synthesis. Our activities range from hunting the ghosts from the "behind-the-iron-curtain-past" and current "design povera", collaborations with older masters to bridge the generation gap, preserve and share the knowledge by giving workshops and lectures. We are fascinated by internal values of form and external values of context, both being inseparably one. KTF moves between academia and streets, analog and digital, high- and low-brow, artistically appropriating, reviving, and remixing ideas that go at the pace of our time.
Like its place of origin, KTF was made to be a playground at the intersection of Latin and Cyrillic scripts. Our ongoing research sparks from the central question: how do they enrich each other? “Mobile-first”, they say. We say, “Cyrillic first”. KTF isn’t just a shop, but a place for ideas, many of which spring from our passions and mutual interest in cultural studies, art, critical theory, linguistics, etc. We’re looking at the world through the lens of type and vice versa. Keeping it open and frivolously entering new terrains – with the help of our elder and younger colleagues. However, we’re conscious and aware of Tschichold’s eye looking down on us and not intimidated by the word “revival”.
Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, KTF has raised funds to help their homeland. During the first months of the war, the company donated its entire turnover to civilians in need and the military. KTF Jermilov was used in the communication campaign "Be Brave Like Ukraine", initiated by the Office of the President of Ukraine and creative agency Banda – to highlight the main feature of Ukrainians and talk about it all around the world. Subsequently, its popularity has grown, it unofficially became the “national font”, being bootlegged and unfortunately abused by Russian propaganda.
The Herb Lubalin Lectures are recorded and made available here and on Vimeo with the generous support of TypeCulture.