Duplicate Sans

In 2007, Christian Schwartz was inspired to try the exercise of drawing a typeface from memory after reading many interviews with musicians who described stumbling upon their signature sound via the same process. He wanted to see what he would remember correctly and what he would get wrong, and to see what the relationship would be between the inspiration and the result. He chose Roger Excoffon’s Antique Olive as his starting point, which at the time of its release had been a departure from the grotesks popular in Europe in the middle of the 20th century, and remains evocative of France. In spite of structural similarities to Antique Olive (and a handful of shared details, like the shape of the lowercase a) Duplicate Sans is not a revival, but rather a thoroughly contemporary homage to Excoffon with a personality all its own. The family was first used in Florian Bachleda’s 2011 redesign of Fast Company.