Type Trading Cards: Felbridge & Sabon
When he drew Felbridge, Robin Nicholas set for himself the design goals of a straightforward sans serif with strong, clear letterforms that would not degrade when viewed in low-resolution environments. To achieve his objective, Nicholas adjusted the interior strokes of complex characters like the M and W to prevent on-screen pixel build-up and improve legibility. Characters with round strokes were drawn with squared proportions to take full advantage of screen real estate. In addition, small serifs were added to characters like the I, j and l to improve both legibility and readability.
In the early 1960s, a group of German master printers wanted a font which would provide them with consistent and predictable results, whether it was used as machine or hand-set composition. They approached one of Germany’s most distinguished type designers, Jan Tschichold, to undertake the design task.
The end result of the design commission is a typographic tour de force, and the face that establishes Tschichold’s reputation as a type designer. The completed design, released in 1966, not only solved the imposed design problem of the early 1960s, it is also an exceptionally beautiful and useful design in its own right.
- Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs. He is also responsible for editorial content for the company’s type libraries and Web sites.
- Prior to working for Monotype, Mr. Haley was Principal of Resolution, a consulting firm with expertise in fonts, font technology, type and typographic communication. He was also executive vice president of International Typeface Corporation.
- Mr. Haley is ex officio Chairman of the Board of the Society of Typographic Aficionados, and past President of the New York Type Directors Club. He is highly regarded as an educator and is a frequently requested speaker at national computer and design conferences.
- Mr. Haley is also a prolific writer, with five books on type and graphic communication and hundreds of articles for graphic design publications to his credit.