Typefaces that fall into the category of geometric sans are by definition deceptively simple in appearance. But as any young designer who’s tried to construct one with a ruler and compass (or its digital equivalent) knows, it’s not so easy. Here’s a rundown of a few families that get it right.
Customary practice when drawing Latin letters is to make the stems — the vertical and diagonal strokes — heavier than those running horizontally. Then there’s reverse contrast, which does the opposite. And then there’s this, which can look like an obvious gimmick, but which also has a rather functional benefit, placing emphasis along the x-height line.
“A typeface is an alphabet in a straitjacket,” proposes Alan Fletcher. It follows then, that fixed-width typefaces prompt a particularly unbalanced response to their constraints, what with each letter and figure trying to fill slots of equal size.
When doing a brand refresh or establishing an identity from scratch, type is one of the strong threads that runs through all of it, uniting each product and campaign through every season. Versatile and recognizable fonts, when used well, will handle the heavy lifting.
Good editorial design makes communication easy. Only the best stories, with compelling illustration and photography, and outstanding typographic schemes can power the editorial staff through to their next publications.