Chubby but versatile – that is what Tomi Haaparanta was aiming for when he designed ITC Tyke. This chunky charmer goes pound-for-pound with Cooper Black at its heaviest weight, but offers a full range of lighter weights and italics as well.
ITC Tyke History
Tomi Haaparanta got the idea for the Tyke typeface family after using Cooper Black for a design project. He liked Cooper’s chubby design, but longed for a wider range of weights. “I wanted a typeface that was cuddly and friendly,” recalls Haaparanta, “but also one that was readable at text sizes.” He started tinkering with the idea, and Tyke began to emerge.
Even though Haaparanta knew his boldest weight would equal the heft of Cooper Black, he began drawing the Tyke family with the medium. His goal was to refine the characteristics of the design at this moderate weight, and then build on it to create the light and bold extremes.
Haaparanta got the spark to design type in 1990, when he attended a workshop held by Phil Baines at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. “I’ve been working and playing with type ever since,” Haaparanta recalls. He released his first commercial font in 1996, while working as an Art Director in Helsinki. After about two dozen more releases, he founded his own type studio, Suomi Type Foundry, early in 2004.
At five weights plus corresponding italics, Tyke easily fulfills Haaparanta's goal of creating a wide range of distinctive, completely usable designs. The light through bold weights perform well at both large and small sizes, while the Black is an outstanding alternative to Cooper for display copy.