Morris conceived Freestyle for those occasions when many words must fit in a confined space. He also wanted the face to work well in large sizes, where only one or two words are used. The result is a friendly, casual script of remarkable versatility. To give the design added personality and verve, Morris created a suite of swash caps that are available in OpenType format.
Morris Freestyle HistoryOpen
According to designer Keith Morris, “Morris Freestyle is a sans serif typeface that broke free and became a semi-script.” The impetus for the design was Morris’s desire to create a highly versatile face that used space efficiently and worked well at a range of sizes. “I wanted it to have a large x-height, feel bouncy and be very legible,” he says.
Morris’ career began in 1961 as a junior commercial artist in a small art studio in Sydney, Australia. Even then, he recalls, “my primary interest was lettering and typography. However, I also realized that I wouldn’t be able to specialize in this. In Australia, at that time, you were expected to be an ‘all-rounder.’”
Morris knew only one “specialist,” Bruce Bennetts, a lettering artist and phototype designer working locally in Sydney – but even that one role model provided inspiration and encouragement, says Morris, “to make lettering and typography an important part of my work, and showed me the standards to aspire to.”
Much of Morris’ 45-year career in the graphic arts has been as a packaging designer. It’s only recently, with encouragement from his son (also a packaging designer) that Morris has devoted himself to lettering and typeface design. Morris Freestyle is his first commercial typeface.