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By Monotype

Terrance Weinzierl

The Kairos™ family from Terrance Weinzierl is that rare form of typeface that successfully melds design distinction and ease of use. While based on a popular 19th century typestyle, it performs admirably in a variety of 21st century applications, both in print and on screen.

The Kairos family brings a 160-year-old design into the 21st century. Octagonal slab serif typefaces, called “Grecians” were popular as display wood type fonts in the middle 1800s. Their condensed proportions, lack of curves and sturdy slab serifs made them natural choices for headlines, posters – virtually any application where a powerful message was desired. 
Taking its the basic shapes and proportions of these earlier designs, Weinzierl applies them to the parameters of digital imaging devices. The size of the family, subtle design upgrades and supporting character complement make it appropriate for a wide variety of digital applications and a broad range of devices.

After starting his own sign painting business when he was 16, and a brief stint as a radio DJ for a classic rock station, Terrance Weinzierl found himself studying Art & Design at Grand Valley State University, in Michigan. It was here that he fell in love with type. He was hooked after receiving his first lecture on typefaces. "I learned that type design is not a dead practice,” he recalls, “but alive and well – fueled by a rich history and changing technologies." During a study abroad program in London, Weinzierl found further inspiration from the award winning London Underground railway map, and Edward Johnston’s branding typeface for the system. "Truly well designed things, like the London Underground system map and typeface,” he explains, “can affect millions of people in a ubiquitous way." Soon after graduation in 2008, Weinzierl joined the Ascender foundry as a type designer and font developer. He is currently a Monotype Studio designer and has helped to develop custom fonts for Microsoft®, Google®, and Barnes & Noble® – as well as various design firms, ad agencies, and publishers.

Weinzierl had been experimenting with octagonal designs for several years, with the goal of creating a distinctive and versatile family of type. Two custom design projects for Monotype clients enabled him to lay the foundation of what was to become the Kairos family. It is difficult to design a typeface stands out from the crowd and also fulfill a multitude of uses, but Weinzierl’s subtle interpretation of the slab serif octagonal style type captures its essence without overstating it.

The Kairos family’s exceptional range of 51 designs, made up of normal, condensed and extended proportions, provides a range of fonts that will perform admirably in a variety of applications. In addition to a large multilingual character set, each design also contains a suite of complementary ornaments, alternate glyphs and weight sensitive arrows. Equally at home in print and digital environments, the Kairos design’s square shapes and lack of curves enable characters to easily snap to a pixel grid in a variety of screens, while its slab serifs translate well to printing everything from periodicals to packaging.

Avenir®, ITC Berkeley Oldstyle™, Frutiger® Next, ITC Legacy® Sans, FF Meta®, Palatino® Sans, Sackers™ Gothic, Trade Gothic®, Neue Haas™ Unica

Slab Serif