F37 Foundry enlists Pentagram, Collins and others to design metallic posters using new font

To mark the launch of F37 Blanka, Rick Banks’ foundry asked 15 leading design agencies to design a poster with it. Here are the responses.

Date
17 January 2022

How do you stand out amongst a market saturated with font releases? Manchester-based foundry F37 has answered with a selection of 15 metallic posters delivered by various designers and agencies to “showcase the diversity” of its newly-released font, F37 Blanka. The font also appears across its new website, which launches today (17 January).

Studios who have contributed designs include: Collins, Dazzle Studio, Farrow, Give Up Art, Hey Studio, Hugh Miller, KurppaHosk, Made Thought, Nomad, North, Only Studio, Paul Belford, Pentagram, Snask and Wolff Olins.

“It’s always exciting seeing our fonts used by the best graphic designers around the world who we truly admire,” Rick Banks, F37 Foundry founder tells It’s Nice That, “and what better way to showcase the diversity and utilisation of F37 Blanka than having them designing top quality and unique printed posters.” Among the responses, Rick says design highlights include a poster from Made Thought; celebrating some of the most notable Blankas from history, a modernist take from North and Hey, and a design from Collins.

“Collins’ design really stood out as their poster is about highlighting the barriers young Black creative people encounter at different stages of their journey,” explains Rick Banks. “But it also maps the actions we can take as an industry to achieve better outcomes.” Yocasta Lachapelle, director of talent at Collins, explains that a thesis by Cheryl D. Miller titled Transcending the Problems of the Black Graphic Designer to Success in the Marketplace partly inspired its poster. This coupled with “experiences with Collins high school and college interns… inspired us to chart young Black designers’ journey into design today.”

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Collins: F37 Blanka poster (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

As for the font that started it all, Rick Banks explains: “F37 Blanka is our take on a clean, classic Swiss sans serif, and was something we hadn’t yet offered for purchase from our library.” Designed as an approachable grotesque “with nuanced humanist inclinations”, the foundry believes the economical font is the “holy grail” – “an everyday workhorse font with subtle and unique differences which don’t distract when it is used as body copy.” F37 Blanka currently supports 16 weights, from delicately light to imposingly heavy.

While F37 Foundry placed emphasis on the font’s legibility at small sizes during creation – meticulously manually hinting the letterforms to make sure they are clear on screens of various sizes – the font has first been put to the test in print. Each F37 Blanka poster has been “lovingly screen-printed by Harvey Lloyd using a beautiful metallic silver”, a presentation Banks found particularly rewarding to see against “the backdrop of the modern culture of constantly updated PDFs”.

Originally intended to be displayed in a London exhibition, the complete set of posters can now be found on F37 Foundry’s online shop.

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Nomad: F37 Blanka poster (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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Pentagram: F37 Blanka poster (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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KurppaHosk: F37 Blanka posters (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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North: F37 Blanka posters (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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Snask: F37 Blanka posters (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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Dazzle Studio: F37 Blanka posters (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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Dazzle Studio: F37 Blanka posters (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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Wolff Olins: F37 Blanka posters (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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Give Up Art: F37 Blanka posters (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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Hey Studio: F37 Blanka posters (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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Hey Studio: F37 Blanka posters (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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Hugh Miller: F37 Blanka posters (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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Made Thought: F37 Blanka poster (Copyright © F37 Foundry, 2022)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.

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