Simon Thiefes

Hi, I am chunky. I am like trousers made from corduroy or a shirt made from flannel. I am the fabric that wraps your words. Warm and cosy.
I am here to listen to strangers as well as to your friends.

I am here to give a voice to those who have something to say. I am here to give a hand to form those words. I am here to give a face to their ideas.


Pack your jute bag!


Grab a chunkyset!
!תפוס ערכת שמנמן





Simon Thiefes

Came to the University of Reading because he likes books. And indeed he found some. Readable ones, not yet readable ones (strange letters) and probably never-ever-possibly readable ones. Anyways. He learned a lot about typefaces, produced chunky (see above), a dissertation, enjoyed his time at Park House, wrote some crappy code, had a flatrate at the coffee machine, and liked talking about philosophy (nudge nudge wink wink). You are very welcome to contact him about chunky, to talk about the weather or to discuss politics. Just send an email!




Q: How did designing multiple scripts at the same within one project influence your workflow and/or design thinking?

A: Herbert Simon once said: “Variety, within the limits of satisfactory constraints, may be a desirable end in itself […] because it permits us to attach value to the search as well as its outcome — to regard the design process as itself a valued activity for those who participate in it”. When we think about space — designed space that is — no matter if operating in two or three dimensions, we often cannot point to one specific feature and exclaim: “This exact detail is what makes this house beautiful”. Much rather it is an overall arrangement, a complex interaction of parts that makes a specific entity a sufficing member of a category such as house. With multi-script typefaces this is very much the same — it is not a question of copying and pasting characteristics back and forth it is about constructing a system that makes sense, that works together. This is how the process of chunky went as well. A permanent flow between scripts, with ideas permeating back and forth between the scripts.

Q: Aside from producing new typefaces, what are some other ways in which you hope to contribute to type design and the wider design community?

A: What can typeface design do to make the world a better place? If anything, we can help to grasp it as a tool to help people communicate and express themselves. To give a face to their ideas. For this it is crucial that these tools are accessible and transmittable for the broadest possible audiences. This year has given a completely new value to the written word — and with it typeface design. I am exploring ways to further contribute to the open source community — beyond typeface design. Currently, by crafting tools that help me in my daily life and making them accessible for everyone. I believe in sharing. This is something that I would like to continue and include in my further practice.

Q: Were you inspired by any particular writing tool or typographic style?

A: When creating the letter shapes of chunky, much rather than go along with a particular tool I pursued this idea: widen the interior space, find a solid structure, and wrap the contrast around the skeleton. chunky blends ideas from many worlds: rather traditional proportions, contrast structures from different scripts, ideas from the broad nib pen to name but a few. chunky is a typeface with character (and a lot of characters, too) for those who have something to say. It is a friendly companion for your texts, it gives a face to your words.


And that’s a wrap! It’s been a pleasure to share the MATD19/20 final projects with you. We would like to send a big thank you to everyone who made this possible: Gerry, Fiona, Fred, Victor, Ewan, Borna, Vaibhav, Cheng, Bianca, Laurence, Frank and all the other lecturers for their time and feedback. Shoutout to coop, Park House, the coffee machine and the farmer’s market.
Typeface: Ohno Type’s Degular.


John Mawby
Adriana Pérez Conesa
José Carratala
Jeremy Johnson

Michaela Staton
Geneviève Cugnart

Simon Thiefes
Eric Karnes
Radek Łukasiewicz


Keya Vadgama
Simon Thiefes

Keya Vadgama
Mark Zhu
Ryan Williamson