ISTD 2014, Type Specimen For The Future brief:
Typographers Grimm is a project that collectively showcases two typefaces, these being Agmena and Trade Gothic Next.
Upon researching these two typefaces, I found (regardless of their differing styles) that they have one thing in common, they are both storytellers, with Agmena describing itself as a ‘practiced storyteller’ and Trade Gothic Next being predominantly used for newspaper headlines. I wanted to really bring the typefaces’ personalities to light, and not just focus on certain letter forms, making these specimens slightly tongue in cheek and expressive, in turn breaking down the perception of type specimens being boring, technical typographic documents, as I felt this was the best way to get young designers interested and passionate about type, as it will be these young designers that make up the future of design. With this in mind, I chose four stories to typographically illustrate, four stories that I could show two sides to - a poetic traditional side (Agmena), and a cold, hard hitting, no nonsense side (Trade Gothic Next). The chosen stories were Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel and Snow White. Chosen for their traditional, yet (at times) quite sordid themes. I named these two type specimens ‘The Poetic Tale’ and ‘The Honest Truth’; together they make ‘Typographers Grimm’. Throughout the design, from the format and paper stock to the typographic treatment, they communicate the personalities of the typefaces - referencing old traditional story books and modern newspapers/newspaper stands. All of these minute details together accentuate the typeface and its tone of voice in an innovative way, rather than showing off the typefaces in a style over substance manner.
These type specimen books do more than just showcase the typefaces, they act as inspiration; inspiration to use these typefaces in new and innovative ways. They are a refresh of these classic fairy tales for a modern audience, in turn creating a social statement about today and the future.
The Poetic Tale: telling the traditional side of these stories with expressive, poetic typographic treatment.