Grilli Type designs new typeface inspired by Soviet children’s books 

Date
23 February 2016

Swiss type foundry Grilli Type has created GT Eesti, a typeface with Soviet Russian origins. Designed by Reto Moser, it’s an interpretation of the “Soviet geometric sans serif Zhurnalnaya Roublennaya, first released in 1947 and designed by Anatoly Schulkin,” explains Grilli Type. 

The original font was found by Reto after he was shown some Estonian children’s books as a student. He then started to digitise the updated Eesti based on scans from the books. While designing, Grilli Type realised there were two versions of the typeface Display for big sizes and Text for smaller uses so Reto has incorporated those subtle differences into the final typeface. 

To accompany the typeface, Grilli Type has made a microsite that goes into detail about the story behind Eesti, the decisions behind certain elements of the type and the subfamilies within it. With inspiration originally coming from the old children’s books, the team have created brightly coloured graphics to sit alongside the font. Like modernised illustrations with added the animations are smart, compact and communicative. The typeface alone is dynamic, clean and sensitively interpreted, but the microsite adds another level to the project, giving it historical relevance and a glimpse into Grilli Type’s design process.

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Grili Type: GT Eesti

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Grili Type: GT Eesti

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Grili Type: GT Eesti

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Grili Type: GT Eesti

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Grili Type: GT Eesti

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Grili Type: GT Eesti

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Grili Type: GT Eesti

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Grili Type: GT Eesti

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About the Author

Rebecca Fulleylove

Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.

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