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Stag Sans Round
FF Meta Headline
FF Meta Serif
FF Unit Slab
Neutraface No. 2
Neue Haas Grotesk
2007. Commissioned by David Curcurito and Darhil Crooks at Esquire. Available directly from Commercial Type and through Village.
Looking back at the process that lead to Stag, I can see that Stag Sans was inevitable. Esquire had a lot of trouble finding a sans to complement Stag and Hoefler & Frere-Jone's Mercury to complete their typographic palette, and had settled on Thirstype's Apex Sans - a perfectly good sans serif, but its narrow proportions and long ascenders and descenders were drastically different from Mercury and Stag, making them difficult to mix in a single headline or as emphasis in a block of copy. We combed through every contemporary sans serif we could find, but nothing was quite the right fit - rounded corners were overly friendly; none of the existing geometric sans serifs looked right with Stag; most humanist sans serifs were far too narrow, too calligraphic, or too straightlaced. Paul Barnes reminded me that the most obvious solution was probably the right one: "You know what you have to do, right? Make a sans serif version of Stag."
My first attempt looked like a joke - the rounded corners I had retained from Stag drew far too much attention to themselves. The second, tamer version looked too much like Verdana, and not enough like Stag. The trick was to find the right amount of rounding where it had been in the original slab version, as well as the right amount of bluntness on the terminals, to make it interesting in headlines but not overly interesting at text sizes. The normal/quirky balance is a bit different in the heavy weights, which are more likely to be used for enormous headlines. The final result is a perfect match for Stag, and also works as a muscular counterpoint to just about any elegant serif face.
Thin, Thin Italic, Light, Light Italic, Book, Book Italic, Medium, Medium Italic, Semibold, Semibold Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, Black, and Black Italic.
All styles include case-specific punctuation, fractions, and CE and EU3 accented characters.