F37 works with designers from Lance Wyman to Spin on its new collaborative typeface collection
Anthony Burrill, Non-Format, Milton Glaser, Haider Muhdi, Alisa Burzić, Ochre and Nomad Studio – just some of the names you can find in the new collection, called F37 x.
- Liz Gorny
- 13 November 2023
F37 foundry has launched a new section of its business dedicated to collaboration, predominantly spotlighting typefaces made by those who don’t typically produce fonts. It features work from leading studios and graphic designers, like Anthony Burrill and Spin studio, alongside typographers. But it also features educators and students who have a brilliant idea for a typeface, but do not have the technical support to turn it into a working font. The project is called F37 x.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the crossover between graphic design and type design,” says F37 founder Rick Banks. “Type designers and graphic designers tend to approach lettering very differently when it comes to designing letterforms. I like that graphic designers tend to break the rules and produce something more graphic, whereas type designers tend to be a little more cautious and conformative. This friction and crossover is where you get really interesting conversations and unique ideas.”
This idea can be traced back to 2015, when F37 collaborated directly with the late Milton Glaser on Glaser Stencil, a revival of a 1967 typeface the designer first used on a Carnegie Hall bill poster in 1969. The light weights of the typeface had been lost when it was first digitalised – an oversight F37 was able to correct with Stencil. Since then, F37 has worked with Lance Wyman and others, sparking the idea for a whole new collaboration section on the foundry’s website.
Some of Rick’s favourites among the collection include Non-Format’s contribution, F37 Lara. “It breaks every rule in the book – making our type designers twitch a little!” It features overlapping, “absurdly tight” kerning and 45° diagonals strokes. Anthony Burrill’s entry is inspired by the type found on cardboard boxes (above). F37 responded with a variable ‘bounce’ axis, “where the type jumps around on the baseline”, in reference to the rough and ready printing often found on cardboard boxes.
The work from students is given equal weight in the collection. “Over the years, I’ve seen so many portfolios from students with lovely type ideas which just get forgotten about because they don’t have the necessary skills to produce it into a working typeface,” says Rick. Jack Bennett’s F37 Haptic is a good example. Rick saw the designer’s work when lecturing at Norwich University of the Arts and the two came together for a font which attempts to bridge the gap between Braille and type.
“With each collaboration we encouraged the designers to develop their ideas into broader technical horizons. For example, the multiple colour palettes of F37 Clown, the colour shifting pixels of F37 Cap1, the optical sizes for F37 Lara and the elaborate interlocking italics of F37 Nifty.”
The full list of collaborators includes Alec Tear, Alisa Burzić, Anthony Burrill, Eurico Sá Fernandes, Grey Albornoz, Haider Muhdi, Hector Pottie, Jack Bennett, John Rooney, Keelin Wright, Lance Wyman, Milton Glaser, Non-Format, Nomad Studio, Ochre, Oli Frape, Phillip Block, Spin, and Superfried.
You can see the full F37 x collection on the foundry’s website, now available for purchase.
F37 x Anthony Burrill: F37 Box (Copyright © F37, 2023)
About the Author
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.