Neutraface

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Neutraface.png
CategorySans-serif
ClassificationGeometric sans-serif
Designer(s)Christian Schwartz
FoundryHouse Industries
Date released2002

Neutraface is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed by Christian Schwartz for House Industries, an American digital type foundry.[1][2] It was influenced by the work of architect Richard Neutra and was developed with the assistance of Neutra's son and former partner, Dion Neutra.

Design[edit]

Neutraface was designed by Christian Schwartz over the period of a year with assistance in art direction from Ken Barber and Andy Cruz,[3][4] it was the result of a project started by Schwartz to design "the most typographically complete geometric sans serif family ever",[3] based on Richard Neutra's principles of architecture and design.[5] The Neutraface alphabet was developed through consultation with Neutra's son and former partner, Dion Neutra, and with reference to the signs on the buildings designed by Neutra.[5] Since there were limited samples of Neutra's signage and no lowercase, much of the design was Schwartz's invention; the lowercase was influenced by Avenir, Futura, Nobel and Tempo.[3][1]

Although Neutraface was conceived as a display and headline typeface, Neutraface Text was created to complement Neutraface Display. Neutraface Text has a larger x-height than its display counterpart and increased stroke contrast.[5]

Styles[edit]

Neutraface was originally released with Display and Text styles. Additional weights have been released.

  • Neutraface Condensed is an adaptation of Neutraface with a condensed width that Schwartz began to develop as soon as he and his colleagues realized how popular the original series was. It was released by House Industries in 2004.[6]
  • Neutraface No. 2 is a revision of Neutraface made by Schwartz in response to what he perceived to be a demand for a "more 'normal' Neutraface". It is described by Schwartz as a "director's cut" of the original typeface, with the main change being its raised crossbars, reducing the eccentricity of the design and increasing its suitability for body text. Neutraface No. 2 was released by House Industries in 2007.[7] The family also included an inline face.[8]
  • Neutraface Slab is a derivative of Neutraface in a slab serif style, following the style of geometric slab-serif popular in the interwar period. The concept originated as a joke but when Schwartz proposed the idea to House Industries, they convinced him to follow through with the concept; the development of Neutraface Slab by Schwartz, Kai Bernau and Susana Carvalho began in 2005 and it was released by House Industries in 2009 in both text and display weights.[9][10]

Usage[edit]

Neutraface on the logo of Shake Shack.

Neutraface is very widely used, and Schwartz has commented, "I can't leave my apartment without running into an ad for a new condo development using it, or a restaurant, or a new cookbook."[7] Some examples of the usage of Neutraface are in the signage for the New York City Shake Shack chain,[11] book covers for Taschen's Movie Icons series,[12] advertising material for Wendy's fast food restaurants, and posters for the 2008 film Quantum of Solace.[13]

Neutraface was also the subject of a parody video of Lady Gaga's song "Poker Face" on YouTube, titled "Neutra Face: An Ode On A Typeface".[14]

The official Neutraface Display fonts are used in the ending credits for the Nick Jr. animated series Julius Jr.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Coles, Stephen. "Neutraface: Functional Novelty". Typographica (archived). Archived from the original on 14 October 2007. Retrieved 8 December 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ Klara, Robert. "House Industries' Fonts Have Added Style, Swagger and Strangeness to What We Buy for 2 Decades". Adweek. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Schwartz, Christian. "Neutraface". www.christianschwartz.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  4. ^ Berry, John D. (2006). Dot-font: Talking About Fonts (1st ed.). New York: Mark Batty Publisher. pp. 117–121. ISBN 0-9772827-0-8.
  5. ^ a b c "The Neutra Legacy". House Industries. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  6. ^ Schwartz, Christian. "Neutraface Condensed". www.christianschwartz.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Schwartz, Christian. "Neutraface No. 2". www.christianschwartz.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  8. ^ Coles, Stephen. "Farewell Futura, Hello Neutraface No. 2". Typographica. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  9. ^ Schwartz, Christian. "Neutraface Slab". www.christianschwartz.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  10. ^ "Neutraface Slab". House Industries. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  11. ^ "Sightings: Shake Shack". House Industries. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  12. ^ "Sightings: McQueen". House Industries. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  13. ^ Korwin, Josh (March 25, 2009). "Neutraface is the new Helvetica". threestepsahead.com. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  14. ^ Abramson, Dan (December 9, 2009). "Neutra Face: Font Fanatics Do "Poker Face"". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 2, 2011.

External links[edit]