A NEW TYPEFACE
CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT
These days, grotesques we see tend to be void of almost all distinction—that’s what makes them so functional, right? Despite their usefulness though, they can feel overly dull at times. And robotic.
So, I thought it would be a fun exercise to take these minimal forms and add some personality back in a way that doesn’t make a big sacrifice to their function. And to see what it might look like if that personality, through a curious twist of fate, was inspired by robots.
I’m calling this project Beautiful Ground and tracking my progress here. I’m working to expand the family into a full-featured, variable format but I’m new to these things. I need your help. In exchange for free downloads as I make progress, I’m asking for your feedback. How can I make this better? What’s missing? Where did I mess up the ker ni n g?
I’ve long been obsessed with the tension between technology and humanity. Technology is what enabled us to evolve as a species and essentially dominate the planet. Ironically, it might also be what destroys us.
My fascination with this tension has drawn me to countless books on anthropology, science fiction movies, and obviously design. But probably more than anything else, it has influenced my taste in music. And that’s where the original inspiration came from, a synthesizer called the Moog Source.
Depeche Mode using the Moog Source
The 1981 logo and packaging
One of my favorite musicians is Jason Lytle. He has a fantastic ability to combine traditional stringed instruments like acoustic guitars and pianos with digital instruments like synthesizers and drum machines. Similar juxtapositions also carry across to many of his lyrics. He sings about things like broken appliances left in national forests and sad, lonely robots named Jed.
This is a typeface that plays off of these same tensions of humanity vs. technology—aptly named after Jason’s song called Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground). And what better name for a font that looks like all of it’s descenders have fallen down. Lower than ground. Beautiful ground.
Watch the video for the aformentioned song