Mundo Sans™, by Carl Crossgrove for the Monotype Studio, is distinctive, approachable – and ready to tackle jobs both big and small. Its open counters and large x-height, which give the design a straight-forward no-nonsense mien, are softened by inviting calligraphic undertones. With 10 weights and a complementary suite of cursive italics, there is little outside the range of the Mundo Sans family. The light weights are elegant in packaging and brochure design, the medium are easy readers in digital blogs and print periodicals and the bold command attention in banners and headlines. Mundo Sans is at home in a wide range of sizes, and comfortable in everything from wayfinding to mobile apps.
Mundo Sans takes on complicated branding projects with efficient grace. The family enables companies and products to express their brand seamlessly in websites, advertising, corporate messaging, packaging – virtually everywhere visible engagement is possible. A large international character set, that includes support for most Central European and many Eastern European languages, ensures ease of localization.
Mundo Sans was originally released with seven weights. The family was updated with three new roman weighs and their italics in 2019 that extend and diversify its range of use: a fine hairline weight, a book weight, slightly lighter than regular, and a demi that is subtly lighter than the medium.
The design is also is a good mixer. It easily pairs with everything from refined Didones to stalwart slab serif designs. And if you need a more harmonious palette, look no further than Mundo Sans’ relative, Mundo Serif. The two designs harmonize with each other perfectly in weight, typographic color and proportion.
Mundo Sans’ italics are true cursive designs, with fluid strokes and obvious calligraphic overtones. The flick of the down-stroke in the ‘a,’ the descending stroke of the ‘f’ and baseline curve of the ‘z’ add grace to the design and distinguish it from more mechanistic styles.
Mundo Sans is a design with deep roots. It was originally drawn to pair with classic Renaissance book typefaces like Bembo® and ITC Galliard®. With a hint of diagonal stroke contrast and gentle flaring of strokes, Mundo Sans complements these designs with warmth and grace. Crossgrove says that Mundo isn’t meant to be showy or distinctive. It is intended to follow the tradition of sans serif designs that have a wide range of uses, enabling comfortable reading and clear expression.
Crossgrove has designed a variety of typefaces ranging from the futuristic and organic Biome™ to the text designs of Monotype’s elegant Walbaum™ revival. His work for Monotype also often takes Crossgrove into the realm of custom fronts for branding and non-Latin scripts.
The Mundo Sans™ typeface family is a design that’s going to stick around for a while. It was a while in the making too; designer Carl Crossgrove worked on and off for more than ten years to give this versatile family its subtle and distinctive luster.
Crossgrove’s work on Mundo Sans began in 1991, prompted by his admiration for several humanist sans typefaces: Metro®, Formata, Gill and Syntax®. As Crossgrove recalls, “I used these designs – and, surprisingly, Futura – as models for the proportion, weight, flow, spacing and rhythm of my design.” For the heavy weights in the family, Crossgrove drew inspiration from traditional hand-lettered signage, with its heavy sans caps, slightly flaring stems and humanist skeleton.
Crossgrove didn’t intend Mundo Sans to be revolutionary; rather, he sought to create “a design with subtle pen ductus, a wide range of weights, and a fluid, unobtrusive italic.” His aim was to keep the design clean and distinctive enough for display use while still being understated and suitably proportioned for text composition.
Mundo Sans’ italics are true cursive designs, with fluid strokes and obvious calligraphic overtones. The flick of the down-stroke in the ‘a,’ the descending stroke of the ‘f’ and baseline curve of the ‘z’ add grace to the design and distinguish it from traditional sloped-roman italics.
Crossgrove set lofty goals for this design, and it’s evident that he achieved them. With seven weights (ranging from the delicate Extra Light to the forthright Medium and the robust Ultra) and its complementary suite of cursive italics, there’s little outside the range of the Mundo Sans family.