The craft of typography is not merely about arranging letters and designing fonts; it’s about creating a subtle, often subliminal narrative that communicates emotions, moods, and stories. At Fontfabric, we pride ourselves on creating a typographic symphony that strives to resonate with viewers, with each typeface playing its own unique part. From robust and humanist sans-serifs to the classical and expressive serifs, every typeface in our diverse offering is a meticulously crafted blend of art and emotion. As a Creative Type Director, I am delighted to share our approach to designing and realising emotively- and narratively-driven typefaces.
Crafting Precision: The Power of Geometric Sans Serifs
Geometric sans serifs are the epitome of balance, uniting visual allure with communicative clarity. Three standout fonts in this category showcase our interpretation of this harmony.
Featuring 216 font styles in over 130 languages, the ‘Muller Next’ family is a masterclass in geometric precision and versatility. From extremely compressed to ultra-expanded, hairline to heavy, the array of weights and widths encapsulates a spectrum of impressions. On one hand, the condensed forms create a dramatic aura of urgency and intensity. Meanwhile, expanded versions command a sense of grandeur and expansiveness, painting an image of abundance. In the middle, the regular weights stand tall in their neutral behavior and an effortless sense of informality.
‘Calleo‘ breathes life into geometric sans with its humanistic infusion. This type family (available in 36 font styles) showcases two distinct font styles that, despite sharing a common origin, have unique characteristics. Calleo Sans cultivates an ambiance of friendliness and warmth thanks to its robust legibility, low-contrast stroke width, and understated grace. ‘Calleo Flux‘, however, with complex, twisting forms and unorthodox designs, encapsulates a sense of bold nonconformity.
Rounding off our geometric sans exploration is ‘Petrov Sans’ – a testament to the power of minimalistic design. This sans-serif boasts a solid, slightly squared form, generalised letterforms, and sharp, perpendicular terminal cuts. In doing so, it broadcasts a sense of innovation and streamlined efficiency and suggests a sleek, future-forward aesthetic.
Capturing Timeless Elegance: Neo-Transitional Serifs Reimagined
The neo-transitional serif genre is a delightful canvas for creative exploration. Typefaces of this kind draw from stylistic characteristics of hand-lettering/penmanship but in an ordered, rigid way. This often results in glyphs with high stroke contrast and an upright/near-vertical axis. ‘Salina‘ and ‘Gwen‘, our two distinct designs in this category, reinterpret this classical style with their unique personalities.
‘Salina‘ is our homage to the timeless charm of the Scotch modern serifs typefaces. With its high contrast design accentuated by delicate, bracketed serifs and beautiful swashes, Salina exudes sophistication and grace. It’s romantic and inviting persona is also reminiscent of a carefully penned letter. It reminds us of the intimacy of handwritten letters, offering a sense of personal connection whilst hinting at the elegance of bygone eras.
In contrast, the expressive forms and distinctively sharp edges of ‘Gwen‘ presents a dramatically different face of the neo-transitional serif genre. The high stroke contrast, coupled with the sweeping curves of ascenders and descenders, creates a dynamic presence that’s both captivating and engaging. The full, expressive nature of Gwen is presented in the Display Serif family. And a subtle Text variation is better suited for smaller sizes. In both sub-families, this typeface is a typographic performance that doesn’t shy away from attention; Gwen is the embodiment of a grand spectacle, the headline act on the stage of typography.
Unraveling Tradition: The Narrative of Old-Style Serifs
In the old-style serif category, we’ve crafted ‘Audela’ and ‘Auge‘, two typefaces that blend tradition with our signature Fontfabric approach.
‘Audela‘ paints a picture of understated sophistication and authority through its flowing letterforms and wedge serifs. The rational forms – with balance and moderate contrast – add to its timeless appeal, evoking a sense of comfort, and modest elegance.
‘Auge‘, however, walks a different path, mirroring the underrated beauty of nature’s microcosm. Inspired by the intricate anatomy of insects, the high contrast, sharp details, and wedged serifs of Auge capture the viewer’s eye, (Auge = German for ‘eye’) By spotlighting the beauty of declining species, Auge’s blend of typography and biology makes it a one-of-a-kind type family that further reinforces our commitment to pushing the boundaries of design.
At Fontfabric, we believe that every typeface has the potential to deliver emotion and purpose, through a carefully devised narrative. As outlined in the examples above, our designs reflect our conviction that typography goes far beyond mere aesthetics and functional communication. Whether subtle or grandiose, type is a form of communication, after all. As we continue our practice within the limitless world of typography, we stay committed to designing typefaces that resonate, communicate, and inspire.
For more information about our foundry and collection of typefaces, visit our website. Or follow us on social media for the latest updates and releases.
Thank you Poppy Thaxter & Plamen Motev for your contribution to this article.
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