Christian Schwartz has partnered with Paul Barnes to form Commercial Type, a new type foundry based in London and New York. Please click here to visit our site.
Duplicate Sans (NEW)
Duplicate Slab (NEW)
Stag Sans Round
FF Meta Headline
FF Meta Serif
FF Unit Slab
Neutraface No. 2
Neue Haas Grotesk
2009. Designed by Kai Bernau and Susana Carvalho. Art Direction by Christian Schwartz and Ken Barber. Released by House Industries.
In the summer of 2005, I was researching historical typefaces to start the conversation that lead to Stag and started thinking about the way Futura spawned a number of geometric slab serifs: Beton, Memphis, Stymie, Cairo, and Karnak, to name a few. I thought it might be funny to throw some slabs onto one of the styles of Neutraface No. 2, which was still in the works at that point, and send a PDF to the guys at House and ask them if this would be a good idea for the next Neutraface "brand extension". They responded immediately, and were very enthusiastic about the idea. They didn't realize I was joking.
They soon convinced me that Neutraface Slab was a good idea, and I brought Kai Bernau and Susana Carvalho onto the team, assigning them with turning one weight of lowercase, drawn as a joke, into the serious reality of five weights in display and four weights in text, with italics, small caps, fractions... everything found in the original Neutraface.
My original plan was just to serif-ize Neutraface No. 2, but Kai and Susana thought it would be a shame not to match the original in the headline faces, at least, so they drew alternate caps with low crossbars for the Display styles. I didn't think this would work, but they proved me wrong.
I think the text face translated particularly well, ending up with a cheerful but serious look. I particularly like the way the lighter styles of Neutraface Slab Text look when used with the heavier weights of Neutraface No. 2 Text for emphasis. Luckily for us, Neutraface isn't particularly strict in its geometry, which made it easier to make a comfortable text face out of it - there was more leeway to adjust proportions as needed to make it readable, unlike in strict geometric slabs such as Memphis and Stymie. We were also lucky that the tails in the italic, a signature detail of the original, adapted seamlessly to being surrounded by serifs.
The Text is less strict in its geometry. For example, the vertical serifs (below) are subtly tapered, making for a less severe texture in extended blocks of text.
Display styles in Thin, Light, Medium and Bold weights, plus Titling and Stencil. Text styles in Light, Book, Demi and Bold weights, all with Italics, Small Caps, and Italic Small Caps.