Graphic design and communication company Studio io has created Optimum Compress a new typeface that originated as an experiment for a promotional electronic music poster. “The starting point for the initial design direction was a Blackletter typeface and some of the music the client wanted to promote,” says Studio io designer Simon Bent. “I’ve always loved gothic script typefaces and how many opportunities do we really get to recreate ye olde lettering? I decided to do a variation on one but I really wanted it to feel angular, futuristic and unusual.”
Tall, sophisticated and imposing, Optimum Compress looks both elegant and forceful. “Starting with a limited number of base shapes and knowing I wanted to get a geometric edge, the typeface quickly came out of the shadows,” explains Simon. “But still with a fair amount of reference to the hand-drawn Blackletter typefaces that dragons, knights and draw bridges would be comfortable with.”
Unfortunately for Melbourne-based Studio io, the design didn’t get past the concept phase so remains unused but still fondly thought of by Simon as a fun project to work on. “The storybook-ending is that I now have a set of 27 narrow, futuristic, geometric and a little hard-to-read characters,” he says.
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