Emil Bertell is a multi-talented illustrator, graphic designer, and typographer based in Finland. Artistic to the core, he’s been exploring visual design since childhood — attending a children’s art school before he ever knew how to read.

As time passed and he grew older, Emil enrolled in an arts-centric high school where he focused on courses in multimedia. While he was there, he began to understand just how much typography affected a visual composition overall and strived to learn more about the art of type design. His coursework didn’t exactly cover this topic in great depth and his only previous experience in typography was related to basic calligraphy, so Emil chose to educate himself and experiment with the craft as much as he possibly could.

His very first font was released when he was just 16 years old, and just a year later his work was published in a font anthology — all while he was still attending high school. He released a number of free fonts in those early days before graduation, not realizing how much they would shape the course of his life later on.


Emil went on to complete his mandatory military service before enrolling in design school, eventually pursuing a full-time career as a graphic designer and illustrator. Incredibly skilled with a pencil, Emil painstakingly illustrated imagery for posters, festivals, advertisements, and magazines. He was tasked with illustrating the lettering for the opening credits of a television show and eventually began to explore type design once more. 

Establishing his personal foundry label, Fenotype, Emil would pick up where he left off with typography, eventually pursuing it full-time. He prefers to create type designs that are well-crafted without being so overdone that they lose some of their expressive qualities.

His entire body of work varies in style and architecture, offering a bit of everything from contemporary sans serifs to elegant scripts and bold display fonts.

One of Emil’s most recent releases through YouWorkForThem is Portland, a reverse contrast family that takes an atypical approach to sans serif design. Designed in tandem with his brother Erik and with type designer Teo Tuominen, Portland is a playful and organic type family that conveys every message clearly — and in style.

Cut from its own unique cloth, this trendsetting sans serif relays a subtle rustic vibe wherever it roams. Portland’s eye-catching architecture is fresh and modern, yet it carries a soft vintage undertone thanks to its reverse contrast design.


Crisp and outdoorsy, Portland is particularly well-suited to designs centered around nature, travel, urban exploration, and organic wares. It offers great legibility, even in small point, and its slight peculiarity instantly demands attention in displays, signage, logos, advertising, product packaging, merchandise, apparel, marketing materials, website designs, and mobile applications. It’s a great choice for branding and identity projects that need a quirky sans serif as the focal point.

Portland is available in Regular, Medium, Bold, and Black weights. It offers additional design flexibility through OpenType features that include case-sensitive forms, fractions, localized forms, and standard ligatures. Portland extends multilingual support to Basic Latin, Western European, Euro, Catalan, Baltic, Turkish, Central European, Romanian, Pan African Latin, and Dutch for designs aimed at an international audience.

Emil Bertell currently offers more than 100 products through YouWorkForThem. Take a look at his portfolio to check out the rest of his work and bookmark it so you won’t miss new additions as they arrive!

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