24 MAY 2013 | <a href="/news/categories/custom typefaces">CUSTOM TYPEFACES</a>
Creative Director Richard Turley and his team, with help from consultant Mark Leeds, have refreshed <i>Bloomberg Businessweek</i> from top to bottom for the first time since <a href='http://commercialtype.com/news/updates/relaunching_ibloomberg_businessweeki'>their major redesign in 2010.</a> The changes through the front section of the magazine are minor, but Etc. has been completely rethought, with an exuberant approach to display typography centered around the <a href="http://commercialtype.com/news/updates/2011_ibloomberg_businessweeki_year_in_review">extremely condensed versions of Druk</a> that Berton Hasebe drew for their 2011 year end issue, played against Berton's newly drawn Druk Wide.<br><br> Druk Wide is not so much an expanded version of <a href="http://commercialtype.com/news/updates/druk_for_ibloomberg_businessweeki">Druk</a> as it is a similar approach to the opposite kind of extreme proportion. Druk's starting point was the many anonymous, slightly crude condensed sans serifs offered by all of the European type foundries in the 20th century, usually with generic names that translate as "Narrow Grotesk". Druk Wide starts from a similar source: the anonymous, extremely heavy, and extremely wide grotesks offered by many European foundries during the same time period. Variations on this design were known as Annonce Grotesk, and sold as the widest variants of Aurora and Venus, among others. Dutch graphic designer Willem Sandberg used a small size of Annonce Grotesk for captions in many of his iconic catalogs for the Stedelijk Museum in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This usage inspired Berton to draw a small-size version of Druk Wide, which the <i>Businessweek</i> team was immediately able to put to use. The new section logotype, drawn by Berton in collaboration with Christian Schwartz, took the wide, chunky forms of Druk Wide and made them even wider, heavier, and chunkier.<br><br>A less noticeable addition to the type palette is a slightly heavier grade of <a href="http://commercialtype.com/typefaces/publico">Publico Text</a>, used throughout the magazine for a darker, softer, and slightly less noisy tone in text—and occasionally for display as well.
09 MAY 2013 | <a href="/news/categories/custom typefaces">CUSTOM TYPEFACES</a>
Danish newspaper design specialists <a href="http://rubmunk.dk">Ribergård + Munk</a> commissioned a pair of headline typefaces from us as part of a sweeping overhaul of well over a dozen daily newspapers published throughout Sweden by MittMedia.<br><br> Berton Hasbe designed Duplex Serif and Sans to solve a very specific problem for this newspaper group. A new format was being developed for all of their titles, to decrease ineffeciencies in production and to allow the different titles to more easily share a portion of their stories. However, as publishers of both upmarket and downmarket papers, the owners wanted to keep the general character of each paper intact - louder volume and more of a feeling of immediacy in the downmarket tabloids, and a quieter, more respectable tone of voice in the upmarket tabloids. The solution to this problem was a set of serif and sans serif typefaces with precisely the same spacing, so they could be swapped out to change the character of a page without affecting the copyfit.<br><br>A great deal of sleight of hand went into the design of these typefaces. Each weight of Duplex Serif matches with the next heaviest weight of Duplex Sans, so the Sans headlines feel punchier as a whole. Also, the Sans is larger in general, making it feel slightly more condensed, which has the result of making it feel a bit louder.<br><br>Duplex Sans started off as an adaptation of one of the narrower widths of <a href="http://commercialtype.com/typefaces/guardian">Guardian Sans Headline</a>, but the Serif diverges far from the Guardian/Publico model for a distinctly different character that borrows more from the variations on Caslon that were popular for news headlines in the early 20th century. The Guardian family fills out the rest of the type palette, with the Egyptian Text and Agate serving as text and supporting types in all of the group's papers.<br><br>So far just <i>Sundsvalls Tidning</i> and <i>Dagbladet</i> have launched with the new format, but the rest of the group's titles will roll it out over the next year.
17 FEBRUARY 2013 | <a href="/news/categories/custom typefaces">CUSTOM TYPEFACES</a>
Berton Hasebe and Christian Schwartz have designed Schnyder, a new serif display typeface, for the 2013 top-to-bottom redesign of <i>T, the New York Times Style Magazine</i> under new editor in chief Deborah Needleman and creative director Patrick Li and his team of Shawn Carney, Aurelie Pellissier, and Natalie Do. Between Hasebe and Schwartz, this is their sixth custom typeface project for <i>T</i>, but the first they've co-designed.<br> <br>The initial jumping off point for the design was a piece of pointed pen lettering from Switzerland, recently acquired by Li, which was quite precise in its thick and thin strokes, but had organic and unusual structures for invidvidual letters and great variations in character widths from line to line. Schnyder features two weights, a Light and a Bold, in 3 widths. The stem weights in each weight are identical across the widths, an unusual feature that allows the widths to be mixed freely in headlines, even within single words. Certain characters were given a large number of alternates, allowing the headlines to feel even more like lettering rather than set type. The lowercase draws from German typefaces popular in the the early 1900s. This typeface tests the limits of gravure printing, and has four optical sizes to ensure that its thin strokes can be thin as possible at each size without falling apart.<br> <br>The type palette is rounded out by <a href="http://commercialtype.com/typefaces/graphik">Graphik</a> in its regular width and a couple of styles from the X Condensed width. <a href="http://commercialtype.com/typefaces/lyon">Lyon Text</a> has been replaced as the text face with Imperial, the text face used in the newspaper's main news sections. We found this to be a bold and inspired choice that accentuates the elegance and quirkiness of Schnyder.
08 JANUARY 2013 | <a href="/news/categories/custom typefaces">CUSTOM TYPEFACES</a>
<i>Helsingin Sanomat</i> is Finland's major daily newspaper, with a circulation of around 400,000 on weekdays. A broadsheet since its founding in 1905, the paper made the switch to tabloid format on 8 January 2013. We provided all of the type for the new design: Sanomat, a serif family for headlines in 8 weights, designed by Paul Barnes with Berton Hasebe; Helsingin, a sans family for display use in 9 weights, designed by Christian Schwartz and Vincent Chan; Helsingin Text in 6 weights, for captions, sidebars, info graphics, maps, and listings; and text is in a custom grade of Publico Text which has been fine-tuned for the Helsingin Sanomat's presses. The redesign was conceptualized and executed internally, headed up by group creative director Sami Valtere along with art directors Hannu Pulkkinen and Ari Kinnari. <br><br> The tabloid layouts are built on a strong grid of square elements. Sanomat is designed to play against this, with organic forms that warm up the coldness and precision of the underlying page structure. Sanomat is an unusual hybrid: a serif face with flared sans terminals, influenced by 'serifless romans' like Optima and Albertus. The sans influence is even more visible in the italics, which lose almost all of their serifs in the lowercase. This almost inscriptional quality helps the typeface look serious and decidedly upscale—very important traits in maintaining the feel of a quality broadsheet in the tabloid format. The serifs are quite short, particularly on the diagonal characters, because of the preponderance of 'vv' and 'yy' pairs in Finnish. The word for 'goodness', <i>hyvyys</i>, is a good example of diagonal-diagonal combinations. The debut issue of the redesign featured a section explaining the new format, with all of the Sanomat headlines painstaking recreated in felt-tipped marker by the creative director. <br><br> Helsingin is a fairly straighforward geometric sans serif, tempering the quirkiness of Sanomat. The pointy terminals reference the iconic geometric architectural lettering in Helsinki's main square, close to the <i>Helsingin Sanomat</i>'s offices. To counter the potentially monotonous texture caused by the many repeating letters in Finnish words, we made the bowls a little asymmetrical, more like a humanist sans than a typical geometric. In addition to the newspaper, <i>Helsingin Sanomat</i> has two very popular additional publications: a monthly magazine called <i>Kuukausiliite</i> and a weekly entertainment and nightlife magazine called <i>Nyt</i>. The design of these had evolved in very different directions from the daily paper and from one another. One aim of the redesign effort is to coordinate the design of all of the print products more closely, while still allowing each to keep its individual personality. The wide range of weights in the Helsingin family grew directly out of this aim: punchy bold weights for the younger readership of <i>Nyt</i> and elegant thin weights for the more literary flavor of <i>Kuukausiliite</i>. Additionally, a set of alternates allows the family to be even more flexible. <br><br> The new typefaces have debuted in the 8 January edition of <i>Helsingin Sanomat</i>, and will make their way into the magazines, mobile apps, and website soon. <br><br> While we did discuss redrawing the nameplate, it was ultimately deemed to be untouchable. There's no other newspaper nameplate like it in the world, and we wouldn't have wanted to ruin it.<br><br>