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Humanist Sans have sometimes a tendency to be over-roundish, slender, mannered,
mimicking the calligraphy. With Cosimo, Matthieu Cortat proposes a font in the spirit of Gill Sans, with strong shoulders, few contrast, a certain darkness in print, which gives it strength and serenity. Contrarily to many font of this style, its italic remains simple and quiet. With its clear and defined range of weights it possesses a versatility which makes it suitable for many purposes, book, titling, magazines, websites…
Nice light, straightforward Regular, virile Bold and peppy Black, each weight has a slightly different personality, but they match each others, making Cosimo a well grounded font for every-day use as well as dressed-up layouts.
Garaje takes its inspiration both from the alphabets of the Bauhaus school and the vernacular inscriptions of Spanish garage owners: two worlds that share a desire to reduce typographic forms to simple geometric elements. At the Bauhaus this geometrization is ideological: it represents a rejection of tradition and the affirmation of an objective and rational vocabulary. With garage owners it is a simple matter of logic, certainly due to an ignorance of tradition. It is somewhat naïve to wish to reduce the shapes of the alphabet to elementary forms. Perfect geometrical forms seem less than perfect to our eyes: Type Design abounds with optical corrections that compensate for our perception of forms.
Garaje plays specifically with this paradox: its construction is rigorously geometrical, anchored to a scalable modular grid, with no optical correction. A perfectly objective system, but a typographical aberration, simultaneously right and wrong.
“For the last 20 years, I have extended this family in every direction, to the point of absurdity: extremely narrow or outlandishly large forms, all built from the same modules. Today it is a complete system, available in 44 widths, 5 weights, 445 fonts, hundreds of thousands of glyphs, and no contrast. Resulting in a typeface which is at the same time brutal and playful, rational and naïve.” Thomas Huot-Marchand
The Seabirds is an homage to the historical legacy of lineals, combining different sub-genres of the sans-serif category within a single typeface.
The project emerged through the study of book covers from the first half of the 20th century—particularly those crafted in the 1930s for the renowned publisher Albatross. They were featuring new and “modern” sans-serifs, most probably contributing to their growing world-wide popularity. Initially conceived as a revival of several well-known typefaces, the evolution of this project involved numerous redesigns to thoroughly appropriate and refine forms that have contributed to the History of Typography. The references that inspired the Seabirds are ultimately plural, diverse, and harmoniously blended for a consistent and contemporary design.
The default set is predominantly geometrical, while the use of OpenType stylistic sets enables a transition from orthogonal to flat terminals, guiding the design to a more humanistic style. The uppercases maintain proportions reminiscent of classic Roman capitals, while revisions to the lowercases have been made to achieve a more balanced and cohesive rhythm. The ratio between ascender height and x-height is deliberately generous to ensure a convincing legibility in body text.
The undeniable value of this project lies in its extensive Latin glyphs set. This means that in addition to the common languages of European origin (which are generally supported in the Western world), the Seabirds covers Vietnamese and languages of African and American origin which use the latin script. To meet the needs of linguists, teachers, academics and researchers, a particular attention has been given to developing phonetic and latin transliteration signs as well.
The name of the typeface, Seabirds, evokes the origins of this project, but also those who travel by land, air or sea.