In our continuing series of fonts-in-use, we look at a couple of young design studios for whom type plays a central role. Their work is evidence of how the right font can shout as loud as any image. Beyond that, this stuff is simply delicious eye candy.
Upnorth™ is Steve Green and Justin Kay. Though they are currently based in New York City, their name comes from their original home in the bitter arctic of Wisconsin. Green and Kay were raised on a rich diet of skateboarding, Black Sabbath and the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers. Their fondness for typefaces of the ’70s and ’80s is apparent, but somehow their work still feels current.
Fonts: Carousel™, Missionary™, Fette Fraktur™
Using a blackletter for Express/Limited’s “Back in Black” campaign was too obvious, so Kay employed Fette Fraktur for only the cap 'B's and opted for a less expected typeface for the rest: Carousel. The two share a similar stroke contrast and fit remarkably well. The mark is finished with some brilliant flourish implants from parts of Emigre’s Missionary.
Client: Zoo York
Font: ITC Busorama™
The storied skateboard brand Zoo York asked popular artists to contribute deck designs for their 2006 line. Kay's submission, using Tom Carnase's ITC Busorama™, emphasizes the gritty New York skate culture. Kay used Illustrator to cut up the font and create his own ligatures. He then moved to Photoshop to chop textures out of the layers for a more weathered look.
Serial Cut™ is a Madrid-based studio with an impressive list of clients, including El Pais, MUSAC, and Chrysler. Sergio del Puerto's unique one-page portfolio site makes beautiful use of Caslon No. 224™ for titles. The Serial Cut logo is built from the heaviest weight of Glypha™.
Design School Exhibition Catalogue
The Access Book showcases the work of students at IED, a Design School in Madrid. Del Puerto needed a simple typeface that wouldn't compete with the students' designs. Many designers would turn to a standby sans like Helvetica or Trade Gothic, but such a school demanded something less common. The soft and modern Ketchupa was just the thing.
Poster and Programme
Client: FIHUM, International Humor Festival
Font: ITC American Typewriter™
The simple concept of the best-known comic gag — to slip on a banana skin — was used to promote this comedy fest. The idea could have been presented as an illustration, but it was more interesting to use photographs of real elements with pre-designed signs. ITC American Typewriter, with origins in bland office correspondence, acts as the perfect straight man in this setup.
Fonts used in title graphic: FF Megano™.
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