Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Brought to You by the Letter...

Brought to you by the letter: H
Vitesse, regular, uppercase H

As a Heather, I have a very long history with the uppercase H. And I've always sorted of hated it. It's blocky and big and boring. It has no finesse, no style. But Vitesse's uppercase H takes the boring blockiness of the H and gives it some style.

I know you might be thinking that all slab serif Hs are all the same, but that's not true (see the bottom of this post.) Vitesse H feels sporty and spirited. It may not be the all-star character of the typeface, but it's the supporting player who grounds all the others. I definitely think a 3 pt stroke around it would scream varsity/university letter. (Not that I recommend doing that to this shape.) While I'm not super into sporty, collegiate typefaces, I think this one is a very modern, usable typeface.

Courtesy of

Design Foundry: H&F-J
Designer: H&F-J
Date: 200?
Classification: 21st century slab serif

"Noting that nineteenth century designs were based on the ellipse, and twentieth century ones on the circle, we wondered what other geometries might prove similarly fertile, and were inexorably drawn to the rounded rectangle. Surprisingly, this attractive and familiar shape, so iconic of both the industrial and digital eras, has seldom been employed typographically as anything more than a novelty.

"The design that emerged has many of the qualities of a beloved sports car: Vitesse is agile, steady, suave, confident, and stylish.."

To continue on about how slab serifs are not all the same, I present to you an overlay of four slab serifs below. The black is Vitesse, the blue is rockwell, the yellow is courier, the pink is prestige elite. Even though it's a slab serif and a symmetrical letter, there are many places for variation: the length and thickness of the bracket, the length and thickness of the cross bar, the length and thickness of the legs. So for those of you who don't see the difference among typefaces, hopefully you do now.

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