A Year of Type: RGD Members share thoughts on typography in 2015
19/02/16

Image: Detour identity from Russell Gibbs RGD, in collaboration with The Garden using Din Next Pro Condensed and Proxima Nova. 

 

Members of RGD reflect on projects, trends and developments in the world of type over the past year and sources of inspiration for 2016. 

 

Contributors

Flavio Carvalho RGD, RG/A, San Francisco

Vanessa Eckstein RGD, Blok Design, Toronto

Russell Gibbs RGD, Russell Gibbs Design, Dundas

Kim McMullen Affiliate Member, Flipside, Vancouver

Stüssy Tschudin RGD, Forge Media + Design, Toronto

 

1. What was your go-to/favourite font (for print/web or both) in 2015 and why?

"It seems that Circular was the font that kept coming back to us one way or the other in 2015. The simplicity and purity of its forms and its great legibility was ideal for many of our editorial work."
Vanessa Eckstein RGD

"I can’t help it.. but I’m Swiss.. so Helvetica Neue still tops my list.. but I also love Univers (same reason.. there is a huge variety of weights available).  Recently I've been using Sweet Sans, Raleway and Roboto. But at the end of it all, I love to try different fonts. As long as they are well designed and offer some choices."
Stüssy Tschudin RGD

"WEB: Roboto. It's just clean. A little techy. Totally readable. Nice nuances."
Kim McMullen Affiliate Member

"Such a tough decision… But a typeface that came out of nowhere for me was Proxima Nova – it's kind of a hybrid geometric. It has a nice balance of unique character, legibility and a variety of weights. Its a real workhorse."
Russell Gibbs RGD

"I have a few that I like to try when I am designing something. But I would say that Helvetica and DIN and Apercu are my favourites."
Flavio Carvalho RGD
 

2. Is there a new font that you hope to use in 2016?

"I am never very interested in what is new for newness sake...but rather how a project feels and what is the tone I want to express for that particular identity. I recently used Futura and rediscovered its beauty all over again."
Vanessa Eckstein RGD

"We've always liked Walkway. We talk about it a lot. The Q and W. The generous width. It's airy and has an art deco feel. With the right project, it could be beautiful. We find it unassumingly elegant."
Kim McMullen Affiliate Member

"I always try to expand my type collection and use faces that I wouldn’t normally use, or try to find the right application for something. I am hoping to use Domaine Sans by Klim. Just have to wait for the right opportunity / project."
Russell Gibbs RGD

"I really like the new typeface International from Neubau (Berlin). It's a san serif that has a really contemporary feel to it. It’s elegant and great as a graphic on the page for print matter as well as on the web."
Flavio Carvalho RGD

 

3. What was your favourite project involving typography that your firm completed in 2015?

"F32 was a simple but wonderful project to work on. Because of its subject matter we were able to express through type the subtleties and flow of the brand and combined a clean, bold sans serif with the grace and beauty of old time Bauer Bodoni."
Vanessa Eckstein RGD


"Our internal Christmas Party Invitation. First of all I used 9 different fonts (breaking all the rules of good design, I know..).. and secondly, because I ended up hand rendering all of them, which was challenging and fun.. and gave the invitation a really organic, personal feel."
Stüssy Tschudin RGD

 

"We did a branding project for an employee engagement firm (not yet launched so I can't spill the beans!). It became entirely font-focused and we manipulated fonts and customized them and the font really became art. Very fun."
Kim McMullen Affiliate Member

"My favourite type-based project of 2015 was the re-work of the Detour identity done in collaboration with The Garden. The new brand has a really great type system, we selected 2 typefaces that work very well together: Din Next Pro Condensed / Proxima Nova."
Russell Gibbs RGD



"The posters I did for Henri, where I overlayed messages with different colours and we were able to use a red sheet in front of the poster that revealed the real message on the poster. The typeface used was NB - International Mono."
Flavio Carvalho RGD

 

4. Was there a project involving amazing typography by another firm that inspired you in 2015?

"Les Graphiquants always inspires us simply because they have a use of typography that is unique and true to them."
Vanessa Eckstein RGD

"I always get inspired seeing work by Jessica Hische."
Stüssy Tschudin RGD

"Well, it's not from last year but I happened to see this really simple and jarring Amnesty campaign about landmines where pencil-like typography made up the lost limbs of children. The concept was simple. The handwritten, primary-school-esque style was a smart choice. The layout was clean. I read ALL the content. I never do that. So I know it was compelling."
Kim McMullen Affiliate Member

"The obvious project involving type (from a brand perspective) was Google. I love a good evolution without doing a complete change. It's a hard thing to do and I feel like they were really successful with it."
Russell Gibbs RGD

"The studio Sawdust in London is always a good source of inspiration when it comes to exploring typefaces, always pushing the boundaries and doing very elegant work."
Flavio Carvalho RGD

 

5. Are there any trends/developments that will impact your typography in 2016?

"I believe in dynamic movements of societies. This has more to do with how we see and relate to the world around us and how political, economic and social issues are shifting the way we interact with each other and the world. Interestingly, as everyone believes that digital is replacing print, we, at Blok, have never designed more books than in 2015, including the largest book we've ever produced. Type took on another space and scale. It was less about legibility and all about presence, character and storytelling."
Vanessa Eckstein RGD
"I wouldn’t know where things are going.. but I do believe, that successful font families will always have to be well designed (including kerning sets) and come in a variety of weights for application across various text elements."
Stüssy Tschudin RGD

"In 2015 we saw a lot of handprinted fonts. A little sketch-like. Everywhere. The joy of those fonts were lost though in their overuse, I think. Digitally we are seeing a lot of streamlined fonts online. Really basic. No fluff. Good for readability, skimmability, etc. But aesthetics and emotion are lost. I think we're going to come back to authenticity in fonts. (Or maybe I just wish for that.) Where the fonts take on the personality of the words and the entire piece, regardless of media, is the story. That's what I'd like to see. Back to heart."
Kim McMullen Affiliate RGD

"I try to make a point of not following a trend in any sense… I don’t want to create work that is datable. One technological advancement that I am over the moon with are services like TypeKit, and Hoefler Cloud Typography/App Typography, the ability to keep type consistent throughout all platforms is huge. But that’s not really 'new'."
Russell Gibbs RGD