Erasmo Ciufo is a graphic designer and type designer, SPD alumnus and teacher, founder of Hellotype. His focus is lettering and brand identity. He worked for Carrera Sunglasses, Alemagna, Gruppo 24 ORE, Il Sole 24 ORE, Fratelli Orsero, Adidas Y-3 and SVLR, Plusdesign, ABOOK. In 2010 he founded his studio Lettergram.

What has been your starting point for the design of Choco?
I started from handwritten signs and vernacular signs of small businesses. Choco has a calligraphic nature educated by typographic design. With Out Now it has found its optimal scale.
In the rich tradition of written typefaces are there any models that have inspired you? How have you used the possibilities of Open Type?
Yes, I am attracted by exceptions, by little inaccuracies and outdated styles of past times, today these imperfections can be easily spotted thanks to technology. I use opentype for ligatures and alternative glyphs. The richness of a character is in the variety of proposals offered.
What were the ideas and experiences that have influenced you in your work as a type designer?
I am fascinated by the ability of a character to express the feeling, the spirit of the times. I love Dutch typography, but also the charm of the artistic calligraphy of my father. Typography is a complex synthetic system of values.

In type design it is proven that you improve over the years. I hope it will happen with me too.
In your work there is always a typographic approach to branding. Does it occur to you to propose a custom typeface for a corporate communication project?
I started to draw characters to best express the values of the brands that I designed for. The design of a logotype proceeds towards the customization of a font; the design of a typeface leans towards the consistency of a system.
Designing a font is increasingly a matter of programming: how to deal with this part of the job, in a small-scale environment as you do?
It is an important aspect. If in the past the matter to be carved was lead or wood, today it is informatics data. Engineering is what makes a font work. And if a character does not work, it is its end. In fact considering the tiny reality of Hellotype the help of technical experts is always welcomed.

Silvia Sfligiotti is a designer, educator and critic. She is a founding partner at Alizarina studio. She curated several graphic design exhibitions and books including Open Projects: Non-standard identities (2010). Since 2012 she is co-editor of the magazine Progetto Grafico.