Geometrica Sans

"The intention of creating an entire alphabet from a few shapes is a design challenge — problem solving at its purest. For those with minimalist tendencies, the temptation is to strip away all the decoration and produce a simpler form." (source)
Almost one year ago, a font idea was born.

In February, I did a painting based on some preliminary ideas, and it has continued to inspire me every day.

And now, after much ado (from sketches on napkins to learning about beziers in Illustrator- thanks Anne!), my first true typeface is coming to life.

Say hello to Geometrica Sans.

(Disclaimer: From the beginning, my intention was never to be groundbreaking or innovative. I did not set out to create the next Helvetica or Gotham. This was more of an exercise in research, development, creation, and satisfying my own self-indulgent compulsion with geometry, symmetry, order and balance.)

I wanted to create a simple, geometric sans serif display font, inspired by:
  • Modernism and the Bauhaus school (1920s)
  • Art Deco and the attention to / focus on geometric elements
  • the Golden section, a simple geometric equation for proportion (employed as early as the ancient Greece) that is considered to have universal, subconscious esthetic appeal
  • antique elementary school lettering guides & posters
And specifically, inspired by these sans serif fonts:

  • Renner's Futura, circa 1927, one of the most used sans serif fonts today
  • Koch's system-based font, Kabel, circa 1920
  • Toronto Subway Font, circa 1960, (which I am so delighted to see every time I ride the TTC)
  • Lubalins's Avant Garde, circa 1970, and its use of circular letterforms and ligatures (and ligatures in general)
  • Acier, circa 1930
  • Century Gothic, LTC Twentieth Century, Neutraface, Brownstone... the list goes on and on

In a lot of ways, this font is a culmination of so many different ideas, sources and inspirations, it's hard to compose an concise summation.
In short, I wanted this font to be everything you expect from letters - nothing more, nothing less.

Now it's time to begin the import into FontLab... wish me luck!

p.s. Lesson learned (so far): Simplicity is not so simple after all.