Kai Bernau.
Design for readers.

Hi, my name is Kai. In 2005 my partner Susana Carvalho and I co-founded Carvalho Bernau. We design publications, identities, typefaces etc. After 18 years in The Hague, we moved to Porto in 2021.

Contact me

Yes please, get in touch: contact@kaibernau.com, +351 91 402 30 54. You should definitely follow me the studio on Twitter: @kaibernau 🐦 @at_cb or on Instagram: 📸 @carvalho_bernau.

Retail type

With Susana (and a bunch of helpers), I designed a typeface family called Algebra that was released in 2016 with Commercial Type.

Together with Christian Schwartz, we developed Atlas Grotesk and Typewriter, see http://carvalho-bernau.com/atlas/ in 2012. It too is available from Commercial Type. (This text is set in Atlas Typewriter, for example)

I designed the Lyon font family in 2009/2010 and it’s available from Commercial Type. More info on the atelier’s website.

Lyon’s news-oriented headline sibling Lyon Hed, originally commissioned by Mark Porter for Internazionale (see below) has been released in 2021 at the Commercial Type Vault. Lyon Hed has been designed with help from Robin Mientjes.

My typeface Neutral has been majorly reworked from the original project (back in 2005) and is available from Typotheque since 2014.

Custom type

With Carvalho Bernau, we have been making custom typefaces for projects and clients big and small — for identity projects like Amsterdam’s Sandberg Institute or type-as-a-subscription-model for Esquire UK’s Big Black Book (art direction by David McKendrick).

We made many projects for Internazionale: The masthead/logotype, a stencil typeface, and a comprehensive newspaper headline family; they were all art directed by Mark Porter.

We also designed a complex interface type system for HBO, together with Erik van Blokland, Ilya Ruderman, Irene Vlachou, hinting by Mike Duggan, mastering by Alphabet.

There are others, from publications to corporations — too many to list here. You should hire us for custom type projects, too!


Since 2011 I am a professor for type design (and sometimes publication design) at the MATD Master programme in Type Direction at Écal, Lausanne. I wrote a small text about my first semester course Tools Make Shapes for the website of Ecal Typefaces.

In 2019/2020, the course director Matthieu Cortat and I supervised Shuhui Shi’s AIZI/AI字/爱字 post-master research project on Artificial Intelligence for Chinese Type Design. One of the project’s outcomes is a free and open source database of Hanzi cahracter composition. Following a presentation of the project at ATypI Tech Talks 2021 (not accessible), I wrote a small article about AI in type design called GAN and GAN’t for the project website.

In 2014/2015, I was a visiting professor in Wigger Bierma’s Typo-Grafik course at HfbK Hamburg.