When I was working as a publication designer, one of the most common needs I had were “type systems:” extended font families which would give me a consistent look across the entire publication, but at the same time, would allow me some flexibility. “Keep the taste but change the flavor,” was my d... Read more
When I was working as a publication designer, one of the most common needs I had were “type systems:” extended font families which would give me a consistent look across the entire publication, but at the same time, would allow me some flexibility. “Keep the taste but change the flavor,” was my design goal, and I wanted font families that gave me that possibility. So I went on and designed FF Clan, FF Good and FF More with that goal in mind. With these families, you can pick the overall taste direction of your publication, but you can easily pick the weight and width that is needed for a particular text, subheading or headline.
The technique used to make such families is called interpolation, or multiple masters. I draw a light and a black master design, and perhaps a condensed and an extended, in a coordinated fashion. Then, I can produce intermediate weights and widths. I also use the multiple masters technique when doing logos for clients. I draw a light and a bold version at the same time. Very often, the client says: “I like this, but it should be a bit bolder, or lighter.” With multiple masters, it’s no problem.
A few years ago, a friend was opening a grocery store and asked me for a logo. To avoid the “like it but bolder” problem, I drew the logo in multiple masters. Once the logo was done, the friend asked, “and what about labels for sections of the store: bread, meat, milk?” “Oh, great,” I thought, and I looked around for script font families that would be similar in style to the logo. I found some, but they were ... too light or too bold. So then I looked for scripts that would come in multiple weights. To my surprise, there were very few — most notably Jovica Veljović’s Ex Ponto and Veljovic Script. They’re beautiful, very classic calligraphy.
But I needed something that is not written by a master calligrapher on hand-made paper, but something that is written by a letterer on a sign or chalkboard. So I started Eggo. Primarily so that my friend could make “milk” and “bread” signs for his grocery store, but the publication designer in me wanted Eggo to be very flexible.
Most script fonts only work with lowercase, when capital letters are used only at the beginning of words. I wanted my uppercase letters to also work in all-caps settings. So I chose a plain, dynamic style, quite upright model. The uppercase in Eggo works on its own, but it also mixes well with the lowercase, which is more classically calligraphic.
The thin style looks like it’s written with a pen or thin marker, while the bolder ones could be done with a brush or a marker. When I had my five weights, I showed it a friend, and he said: “Well, you now have an upright script family. What about italics?” I did an ornamented family a few years before, FF Pitu, where I experimented with a more italic or more upright variant. It ended up as being “slightly italic”. I didn’t know if there are any script families with both uprights and italics, so with Eggo, I decided to try.
I ended up with a system: five weights which you can easily mix for the right flavor: the upright styles which are a bit more casual, and the italics, which are a bit more classic. And the uppercase which works rather well in all-caps but also mixes well with the lowercase. FF Eggo may not be as flexible as FF Good or FF Clan, but it hopefully won’t bore you after just one use. You can use it again and again, keeping the taste but changing the flavor. This is what you get if you ask a publication designer to make a logo for a grocery store.