Oboi for Wallpaper*


The November 2012 issue of Wallpaper* is the last of their for BRIC specials, each of which featured a custom typeface used throughout the issue. Christian Schwartz and Vincent Chan designed Обои (Oboi, Russian for "wallpaper") in one weight with support for both Latin and Cyrillic. Schwartz says, "It was difficult to come up with a typeface that looked distinctly Russian without falling into various clichés, or looking completely unremarkable once it's not in Russian anymore. I haven't been to Moscow, but when I went to St Petersburg a few years ago I noticed a particular style of all-cap stencils all over the place on everything from buildings, signs, and vehicles to the space travel equipment on display at the Cosmonauts Museum. Although the letterforms were based on a simple rectangular structure, the stencil breaks were inconsistent in a very inventive way, sometimes with the same letter being broken in completely different ways on adjacent lines. We adopted this approach and drew multiple versions of each letterform with the aim of playing the simple, regular structures against the inconsistent breaks for an interesting overall texture."