Christian Schwartz


Christian Schwartz (born 1977) is a partner, together with British designer Paul Barnes, in Commercial Type, a type foundry based in New York and London specializing in custom typefaces for publications and corporate design. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Schwartz worked at MetaDesign Berlin and The Font Bureau, Inc. prior to co-founding Orange Italic in 2001, starting Schwartzco in 2006, and launching Commercial Type in 2009.

Schwartz has released commercial fonts with many respected independent foundries, including House Industries and Emigre, and has designed proprietary typefaces for corporations and publications worldwide. Schwartz and Barnes began an ongoing collaboration in 2005 with their extensive typeface system for The Guardian newspaper in London, which led to honors from the Design Museum and D&AD. The two have completed custom typefaces for clients including Esquire, the Empire State Building, Bosch, Sprint, The New York Times, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Schwartz was awarded the prestigious Prix Charles Peignot in 2007, given every four or five years to a designer under 35 who has made "an outstanding contribution to the field of type design" by the Association Typographique Internationale. As part of the team responsible for the redesign of The Guardian, Schwartz and Barnes were shortlisted for the Designer of the Year prize by the Design Museum in London. The pair were named two of the 40 most influential designers under 40 by Wallpaper* in 2006, and Schwartz was included in Time magazine's 2007 "Design 100". Also in 2007, Schwartz and Spiekermann received a gold medal from the German Design Council (Rat für Formgebung) for their Deutsche Bahn typeface system. Schwartz's typefaces have been honored by the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the New York Type Director's Club, and the International Society of Typographic Designers, and his work with Barnes has been honored by D&AD. Additionally, Schwartz has lectured extensively at conferences and to students throughout the US, Europe and Asia. 


BITS MMXV Special Workshop
Christian Schwartz
Presented by Commercial Type
October 30, 2015.
3.30 pm. - 5.30 pm.
Auditorium A, TCDC
Available slots : 10 person

“Growing alphabets from seed”

Working from a single letter, participants will learn how to see and implement the system that makes up a typeface. The result will be a complete word and the knowledge to make a complete alphabet. Vellum, pencils, erasers, and markers required. No laptops needed.


BITS MMXV International Conference
Christian Schwartz
Presented by Commercial Type
November 1, 2015.
Afternoon session
5th fl Auditorium, bacc.

“Credibility, Legibility, and Style”

Christian Schwartz will discuss how previous technologies shaped the most common news text faces of the 19th and 20th centuries, and how contemporary designers use readers' feelings about the aesthetic imposed by these limitations to our advantage.