This new font breaks the big, unspoken rule in typefaces

In the world of kind design, most any font or typeface you see falls into one among two camps. It’s both a serif or sans serif. The serifs (e.g., Occasions New Roman, Georgia, and Garamond) are the classics, that includes further hooks and curves at the finish of letters, for legibility and elegance. The sans serifs (e.g., Helvetica, Futura, Roboto) are the modernists, with letterforms based mostly upon less complicated geometries and no further thrives.

[Image: courtesy Noël Leu]There isn’t a regulation proclaiming that every one typefaces should fall into the bucket of both serif or sans serif, but that’s how we categorize all of them the identical.

[Image: courtesy Noël Leu]A new font known as GT Ultra is completely different. It’s half serif, half sans serif. It’s what the AIGA calls “A Actual Fence-Sitter of a Typeface.” And you recognize what? It’s, and it’s nice.

“The mission grew out of a want to discover the potentialities of discovering an aesthetic that may’t be simply categorized,” says designer Noël Leu. “We’re all creatures of behavior and are usually extra comfy with issues we will clearly establish.”

[Image: courtesy Noël Leu]You may most likely see that GT Extremely is impressed by the wealthy typefaces from the Nineteen Seventies and ’80s, which had been hand-drawn letterforms filled with all the chunky curves of a Doc Martin shoe. Such retro typefaces have most actually had a comeback in the previous couple of years, as we noticed with tasks like Burger King’s latest rebranding. However GT Extremely isn’t just a retro remake.

[Image: courtesy Noël Leu]Leu spent 4 years growing GT Extremely to create the anachronistic impact he was in search of. “I actually took the time to step again from time to time to let the mission relaxation, mirror on the idea and the place to take the design,” he says.


[Image: courtesy Noël Leu]On one hand, it has all the curvy parts of hand-drawn calligraphy. (Have you ever ever seen a printed letter as opulent as that decrease case “a”—it might need been designed by Bacchus himself.) On the different, it’s buttoned-up and modernist. When the typeface, pay particular consideration to the terminals: These are the ends of letters. At instances, Leu ends them with a flared tip to lighten the weight of the letter, like the rudder of an airplane. At different instances, Leu ends them with a squared edge, planting them firmly into the web page, like a trusty sans serif.

[Image: courtesy Noël Leu]However a giant cause that GT Extremely works as a purposeful font, Leu concedes, is because of fashionable expertise. Variable Font Know-how—a supersize font file codeveloped by Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe in 2016—shops way more details about particular person glyphs than outdated font information did, which permits a designer to basically program a font to not simply scale its geometry huge or small, but additionally optimize its bits and items for fixed visible steadiness. For a font that pushes the limits on skinny and thick components, sharp corners, and curved edges, having further ranges of management was essential to creating it render correctly—plus this further code affords the choice to render it skinny, daring, and even in a model with heightened geometric distinction, pushing its visible id to the limits.

[Image: courtesy Noël Leu]In the meantime, simply what will we name GT Extremely? Is it a serif, or a sans serif or . . . one thing else? “I’d say GT Extremely is neither a sans or a serif typeface,” says Leu, throwing coals on the hearth. “But it surely’s additionally each a sans and a serif typeface.”


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