- Although the superfamily originated as an act of loving homage to the geometric sans serifs of the nineteen
seventies, it eventually grew to encompass a thorough body of styles, all teetering on the cusp of the geometric and the grotesque. As the family evolved, different forms and ideas began taking sides. Some belonged in a more rigid, apollonian universe, while others seemed to be finding a bit of organic aliveness within their geometric framework. As the differences in style became more and more defined, the project was eventually split into two distinct 20-font superfamilies.
- While Sharp Sans #1 ends its round monolines with diagonally sheared terminals, Sharp Sans #2 sheers those terminals on a 90 degree angle. This small distinction became the basis for a plethora of exploration on either end. The most distinct aspect of #1 is its whimsical, almost slab-like true italics, which in turn give way to a full set of swash capitals in all italic weights. #1 also has a style set of grotesque lowercase alternates in all roman weights.
- Sharp Sans #1 has swash capitals in all fonts. They are programmed to only replace the starting letter of words, allowing for all-capps settings
- Sharp Sans #2, being the more geometric of the two, has a more traditional oblique for its italic, as well as an additional Herbert Bayer-inspired lowercase. #2 also has a complex system of contextual alternates and ligatures programed to recreate perfectly with opentype our own take on the ingenious interlocking layouts of Herb Lubalin.
- The Sharp Sans #2 "Lubalin" capital system utilizes contextual alternates wherever possible in order to preserve tracking capabilities.
- Instead of making a catalog showing off the font, we conceived of and produced a children's book. Written by the father of the designer of Sharp Sans, The Shipwrecked Vowel tells the story of "A", a vowel marooned on a strange land who, through trials and tribulations, eventually finds an alphabet to call home.
- The original design contained the uppercase of what eventually became Sharp Sans #2 while the lowercase became the prototype for the more grotesque Sharp Sans #1. Based on a consultation with Chester Jenkins of Village Fonts, the issue of the difference in the terminals of curved strokes between the upper and lowercase was eventually resolved by splitting the family into 2 parts, #1 and #2.
- The Lubalin uppercase originated with the commission of this logotype more than two years ago. The Lubalin style was requested by the client and Sharp Sans was still in its elementary form, so we adapted the existing design to suit the clients request.