In this post I’m gonna pick two typefaces and briefly analyze them. The selected fonts are the famous sans-serif Gotham and the maybe-not-so-famous serif Salome. I chose these fonts because they’re are relatively modern and because they belong to different groups of typefaces.
The first one is Gotham. Created by designer Tobias Frere-Jones in 2000, this typeface was commissioned by CQ magazine.
The resources for creating the font came from walking every block in NY with a camera and taking pictures of lettering signs in old buildings. This signs used sans-serifs types, like Futura. In an interview, Tobias said “I suppose there’s a hidden personal agenda in the design, to preserve those pieces of New York that could be wiped out before they’re appreciated. Having grown up here, I was always fond of the ‘old’ (or just older) New York and its lettering.” (http://www.themorningnews.org/article/is-gotham-the-new-interstate). One could say that behind the design of Gotham came a personal interest of Tobias to rescue the essence old signs which were present all over NY during the 50`s and have slowly began to disappear. In a way, Gotham carries a little of the spirit and history of NY.
Just like Futura, Gotham is a simple and efficient typography, without non-essential elements. Although it can be seen as a neutral or rational font, the wide range of weights allows the font to be versatile and playful. It can be used in both titles and body texts without losing readability, something that not many fonts manage to accomplish, making it one of the greatest fonts there is
The second font is Salome, a serif created by the studio Atipo in 2014. This typeface is mainly inspired by the Didones shapes (similar to Didot or Bodoni, hence the name).
The typeface is stylish and glamorous and unlike Gotham, this is not by all means a neutral typeface. It’s eye-catching and boldly captures the essence of past times in a modern, elegant and dynamic way. It has four weights It’s great for titles, texts in large sizes or short sentences; however it is awful for body text. The high contrast between its strokes (specially the thin ones) make it hard to read in small sizes.