Peter Biľak

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Peter Biľak
Peter Biľak in 2013
Born (1973-03-29) March 29, 1973 (age 50)
Occupation(s)Typeface designer, graphic designer
Peter Bil'ak at Typo Berlin 2017

Peter Biľak (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈpeter ˈbiʎak]; born March 29, 1973) is a Slovak graphics and typeface designer based in The Hague, Netherlands. He works in the editorial, graphic, and type design fields.

Bil'ak teaches typeface design at the Royal Academy of Art.[1] He created Typotheque in 1999, Indian Type Foundry in 2009, Works That Work magazine in 2012, and Fontstand in 2015. He also co-created Dot Dot Dot with Stuart Bailey in 2000. He is a member of AGI[2] and lectures on his work internationally. He is a writer for numerous design magazines and contributes writing and designs to publications including Print, Emigre, Eye (magazine), Items, tipoGrafica, Idea (magazine), Abitare, and Page.

He designed several fonts including FF Eureka (published by Fontshop) and Fedra (published by his own type foundry Typotheque).

Early life[edit]

Biľak was born in Czechoslovakia on March 29, 1973. He initially studied at the Art Academy in Bratislava, then studied briefly in the United Kingdom and the United States. Later, he went to Atelier National de Création Typographique in Paris for his master's degree and Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, Netherlands, for his postgraduate laureate.


Biľak started his career with Studio Dumbar, an international design agency in The Hague. After working there from 1999 to 2001, he left Studio Dumbar and began to work independently.

In 1999, Biľak established the type foundry Typotheque. Typotheque's office[3] is in Zeeheldenkwartier, a neighborhood in The Hague.[4] In 2003 he designed a series of standard post stamps for the Dutch Royal Mail (TNT Post).[5] Since 2004, Bil'ak has collaborated with the choreographer Lukáš Timulak on the concepts of dance performances. Together, they were the subject of an exhibition 'InLoop/EnTry' in Stroom, Centre for Art and Architecture.[6] In 2007 Bil'ak worked with Indian designer Satya Rajpurohit on the Hindi version of Fedra Sans, and in 2009 created the Indian Type Foundry (ITF).

In 2012, he was named as one of Metropolis' 12 Game Changers, due to his contribution to non-Latin typography.[7] In 2014, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic awarded Biľak the Goodwill Envoy award for spreading the reputation of Slovakia.[8]

Together with Kristyan Sarkis, a Lebanese designer based in the Netherlands, Biľak co-founded TPTQ Arabic, a sister company that develops original Arabic typefaces and systems for bilingual typography.[9]

In 2015, Peter Biľak, together with Andrej Krátky, co-founded Fontstand, a desktop app that allows users to try fonts for free or rent them per month.[10] Fontstand has been included in the New Europe 100, a list of Central and Eastern Europe innovations that recognizes those with expertise in emerging technologies, unique skills, and social outreach which have had a global impact.[11] In 2019 he was awarded the Gold Prize in the European Design Awards for his font "Ping," a typeface that supported hundreds of Latin-based languages, and 10 non-Latin languages.[12]

Typeface design[edit]

Poem by M. Vasalis on a wall in The Hague using the typeface "Lava" by Peter Biľak

Since the early 1990s, Biľak has designed several different typefaces:


Between 2000 and 2007, Biľak was the co-founder (along with Stuart Bailey), co-editor, and designer of Dot Dot Dot, an art and design journal. In 2006, David Reinfurt replaced him as co-editor. The publication was discontinued in 2010.

In 2013, after raising €30,000 in a crowdfunding campaign,[13] Biľak founded Works That Work, a creativity-focused magazine, which was published twice a year by Typotheque. It was published in print and in a digital format. Works That Work was an international design magazine whose goal was to study international graphic design. Works That Work was discontinued after 10 issues in 2018.[citation needed]


  • Typed Radio interview with Peter Biľak
  • Progetto Grafico No.9, 2007, interview with Peter Biľak
  • Articles by Peter Biľak
  • Middendorp, Jan, Dutch Type. 010 publishers: 2004. ISBN 90-6450-460-1.
  • Eye magazine No.75, Spring 2010, Interview with Peter Biľak
  • Designing for India, Bangalore Mirror, 6 February 2011
  • Heller, Steven, The Design Entrepreneur Rockport Publishers:2008. ISBN 978-1-59253-421-0.
  • Interview with designer Peter Bilak
  • Peter Bil'ak: Designing for dance, typefaces, and marginalized alphabets


  1. ^ [1] Royal Academy of Art in The Hague
  2. ^ [2] Archived 2012-01-07 at the Wayback Machine Peter Bilak at AGI
  3. ^ "The Hague Neighborhood Map". Hoodmaps. Retrieved 2023-09-17.
  4. ^ "Typotheque | LinkedIn". Retrieved 2023-09-17.
  5. ^ [15] Iconen van de post
  6. ^ "Stroom Den Haag - InLoop/EnTry: Peter Bilak & Lukáš Timulak". Retrieved 2023-09-21.
  7. ^ [4] Archived 2012-02-03 at the Wayback Machine Metropolis Magazine: Peter Bilak, Game Changer
  8. ^ [5] Archived 2014-12-04 at the Wayback Machine Minister Lajčák presented Goodwill Envoy awards
  9. ^ "TPTQ Arabic: A New Foundry". Retrieved 2023-09-21.
  10. ^ Hohenadel, Kristin (2015-05-22). "This New Service Wants to Be the iTunes for Fonts". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2023-09-21.
  11. ^ [8] Archived 2015-12-04 at the Wayback Machine The New Europe 100, Fontstand founders
  12. ^ "26 Nederlandse European Design Awards 2019". MarketingTribune (in Dutch). Retrieved 2023-09-21.
  13. ^ "And it's here! (Works That Work magazine)". Retrieved 2023-09-21.

External links[edit]