Even though he has spent three decades in his “new” home in Berlin, Alessio Leonardi has retained that extra special Florentine gene that exudes a wit rarely experienced in this country. A coffee with the young-at-heart professional always promises to lead to a stimulating discussion covering everything from professional to personal topics.
A glance at his CV proves that the Communication Designer and Type Designer knows what he is talking about. After studying at ISIA in Urbino, he was drawn to Erik Spiekermann at MetaDesign Berlin before running his own design offices (Leonardi.Wollein, Lion&Bee) and finally, after being employed as a Visiting Professor for Corporate and Information Design at Burg Giebichenstein and for Typography at HBKsaar, in 2010 he was appointed as Professor of Visual Communication at HAWK Hildesheim. Throughout his career, he has been (co-)responsible for numerous large corporate design projects, including WDR, Springer Verlag, Schering, Linotype or CECIL.
Alessio Leonardi designed his first analog typeface families in 1989. In 1992, he created his first digital famlies for FontShop International and Linotype. With Alexander Branczyk, Heike Nehl, Sybille Schlaich and Thomas Nagel, he founded one of the first digital type publishers called Face2Face. He then went on to set up Fontology with Fabrizio Schiavi. Some of his typefaces were designed exclusively for the legendary techno magazine Frontpage.
In the new millennium, he started his own label BuyMyFonts. This is also where the Corporate typeface for Berlin, the BMF Change, which is now published by Fontwerk in revised form for the rest of the world. Other work highlights include the complex type system for Schering AG (now Bayer), the Bröhan typeface for Bröhan Art Advisors Inc. and BDFoundation for the Bröhan Design Foundation, as well as FF Letterine, FF Matto, FF Handwriter and FF Graffio for FontFont and BMF Elettriche, which, in his own words, is “the largest type family in the world … until now”.
Besides speaking at (always a highlight!) and moderating conferences (e.g. TYPO Berlin), Alessio Leonardi also writes for design magazines and has published numerous books including: “From the Cow to the Typewriter: the (true) History of Writing”, “A Line of Type. 120 years typographic history” (with Jan Middendorp for the Mergenthaler Edition), “Mr. Typo and the lost letters” (also with Jan Middendorp) and “How passion ruins our lives.” and the typo graphic novel “Mr.Typo and the treasure of design”. This concludes his bio for now, before we have to publish it as a book …