Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brought to you by the letter...

Today's letter is brought to you by the letter: T.
Interstate, Regular, lowercase t.

What stood out to me about Interstate Regular's lowercase 't' was the ends of its stem. For a sans serif, it adds a little pizazz to have the top cut off at such an extreme angle, and for the bottom of the stem to curve and cut off at a lesser angle. It could have been a very bland, equal weighted, cross shape--just another letter in the alphabet--but it was obvious that this 't' was crafted with care. The terminal curve and angle plays very nicely with the erect stem. This letter says I'm a good school boy, but I'm fun too!

Even thought it feels neo-grotesque in it's lack of contrast and even width, it certainly has a distinguishing characteristic. Although, perhaps to people not in love with letter forms, maybe it does look rather inconspicuous?

Courtesy of Font Bureau.com:

Design Foundry: Font Bureau
Tobias Frere-Jones
Neo-grotesque sans-serif

"Familiarity lies at the heart of legibility. Interstate is based on the signage alphabets of our Federal Highway Administration, letterforms absorbed at a glance everywhere we drive. Interstate provides a real edge in swift communication." Interstate is recommended for newspaper and magazine use. Interstate has 40 different weights!

Courtesy of wikipedia.com:

The terminals of ascending and descending strokes are cut at an angle to the stroke (see lowercase t, and l), and on curved strokes (see lowercase e and s), terminals are drawn at a 90° angle to the stroke, positioning them at an angle to the baseline. Counters are open, even in the bold and bold condensed weights, further contributing to legibility.

About Neo-Grotesque Sans-Serif, courtesy of Para Type.com:

Neo-Grotesque is a refinement of early Grotesque structure. They were issued during 1950s due to the requirements of the Swiss typography style. Neo-Grotesques are more elegant than their predecessors and hardly have any distinguishing features, so may be described as standard and inconspicuous. They have small aperture, even widths, low contrast and large x-height. They were designed in many styles and weights. Ascenders are the height of uppercase. Normally italic is absent or replaced by oblique. Slopes are from average to significant.