Fast Company’s fantastic new fonts

In September 2011 Fast Company introduced three new typefaces to their print publication. Kaiser, Zizou Sans and Zizou Slab were all commissioned as part of a design overhaul.

In September 2011 Fast Company introduced three new typefaces to their print publication.

Kaiser, Zizou Sans and Zizou Slab were all commissioned  from Commercial Type by Fast Company’s creative director Florian Bachleda as part of a design overhaul. Co. Design, one of the magazine’s online counterparts launched their redesign four months later, using specially hinted versions of Kaiser and Zizou Slab to great effect.

Kaiser:

New Fast Company fonts

Conceptualised by Christian Schwartz and Florian Bachleda as a hybrid of a condensed sans they discovered in an old German specimen book and Paul Renner’s Plak, it was expanded into a full range of widths by Vincent Chan.

New Fast Company fonts

New Fast Company fonts

New Fast Company fonts

Zizou Sans:

New Fast Company fonts

New Fast Company fonts

Christian Schwartz gives us a glimpse into his Zizou Sans design process:

It originally began as my attempt to draw Antique Olive from memory, but ended up with its own distinct personality. I surprised myself with what I remembered correctly (i.e. the swing to the top of the bottom bowl in the lowercase a, and the distinctive top of the lowercase t), but was impressed by just how wrong I was able to get certain things. So much for my photographic memory for type!

Zizou Slab:

New Fast Company fonts

Schwartz on the design of the slab serif version:

I decided to start from the simplest place I could – snapping rectangular slabs onto the sans with a minimum of contrast – to see what that would yield before I tried to be any more clever with the design.

New Fast Company fonts

Almost too easy!

New Fast Company fonts

New Fast Company fonts

New Fast Company fonts

I always find it fascinating how a font looks exponentially more interesting and lively seen in use compared to a plain specimen, don’t you think?

Helvetica redesigned

News of Linotype’s latest typeface offering, Neue Haas Grotesk has swept the typosphere since its release on June 7th. The story goes that the famous digital sans-serif  typeface we know today as Helvetica, was originally designed by Max Miedinger in the ’50s as Neue Haas Grotesk. The conversion from metal type to digital resulted in a one-size-fits-all solution with “unfortunate compromises” to the integrity and character of Helvetica’s predecessor.

NYC based type designer Christian Schwartz has now restored this typeface to its former glory and released it comercially. A common perception in the design fraternity is that “you don’t mess with Helvetica”, so I find it quite interesting that the initial reception in typography circles appears to be positive.

Neue Haas Grotesk does not come without any credentials, the typeface has been put through its paces by Bloomberg Businessweek’s print publication since their redesign last year.

My favourite part is that Schwartz has included some of Miedinger’s alternate characters which have never formed part of Helvetica. Take a look at the flat-legged R:

Neue Haas Grotesk

Read more about the revival of this legendary typeface at: