It’s not often we get to describe a typeface as fizzing with energy but Mars, the first commercial font release by designer Alaric Garnier released via Paris-based digital type agency Production Type, is exactly that. Surrounded by references to sports and the vitality needed to complete them, Mars is a duo of a typeface: a dynamic one consisting of “a pumped-up extended style and slimmer condensed,” iteration.
“Flexed and stiff at first sight,” Mars is a bold typeface with a specimen to match, presented in a jarring combination of red, yellow and blue. Although daringly designed, the specimen plays to Mars’ strengths, as well as it gesturing to how it should be used: “Mars makes no compromises and encourages specific design choices. [It] calls for intricate typesettings and loud, visible type: just like a beefed-up, fit and tight version of the typeface Venus, its distant reference.”
Alaric, Mars’ designer, runs a practice producing “a small collection of explorative typefaces,” Production Type explains. “Despite the traditional sign painting training he received in the US, Garnier’s typography avoids mimicking brush strokes or casual lettering structures. In Mars, the remaining effect is a compound of its author’s gesture, energy and freshness.”
Packaged so you can squeeze it together or extend it largely, “Mars comes in a pack of two pills, no more,” says the type agency. “The two cuts are designed to be paired together, yet they maintain their own singularity as stand-alone typefaces in a wide variety of design projects.”
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