Hi, I’m Rob Keller!
I am a designer and artist from the cornfields of the midwest with an obsession for letters. While studying at the University of Illinois, working on BFAs in Graphic Design and Sculpture, I discovered the concept of type design and began experimenting with type. In 2006-07 I attended the University of Reading (Reading, England) for the MA in Typeface Design program.
Immediately following the MA, I moved to Frankfurt, Germany to join Linotype. There, I worked in the marketing department (a valuable experience, but unfortunately not type design). After a year, I left to focus on creating my own typefaces.
I moved to Berlin at the end of 2008 and started the digital typefoundry Mota Italic so I could focus purely on creating typefaces – both for my retail library and for custom commissions. I did that full time for two years till we opened a studio / gallery / bookshop space in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg. That was an amazing experience where we held 16 exhibitions, many workshops and presentations, offered over 400 type books and many locally produced typographic objects, and helped expand and strengthen the local design scene. This space existed for about three years, but I ultimately decided that I would rather “just” be a font designer rather than “shop keeper, curator, host, tour guide, shipping representative, full time emailer, and part time designer on the weekends”. So in late 2013 I closed up shop and went back to 100% typeface design.
After seven years in Germany it seemed like the moment to change things up, so I gave away most of what I owned, sold a bit of it, and shipped my rather considerable library + a few other boxes, then flew with my cat Cosette further East. We moved to Mumbai, India and soon after I married Kimya Gandhi – also a type designer. We’ve been working together at Mota Italic since then, and now the company has an even stronger emphasis on Devanagari and Indian scripts.
The latest milestone is in September 2020, after six years in Mumbai, we moved (back) to Berlin for the next phase in life. Here, we are continuing our type design work and I’m spending my spare time on new sculptures and cycling.
If you have any questions or comments you can always reach me at:
rob [at] motaitalic.com
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