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Neo® Tech

By Monotype

Sebastian Lester
Monotype
The branding agency's client wanted an ultra modern" typeface that was "futuristic without being gimmicky or ephemeral," according to the design brief. Designer Sebastian Lester took on this intriguing custom font assignment, but soon, a bureaucratic decision cancelled the project.

"I was left with a sketchbook full of ideas and thought it would be a shame not to see what came of them," says Lester. He decided to finish the design on his own.

Lester's research confirmed that the principal ingredient of an "ultra modern" typeface was simplicity of character structure: a carefully drawn, monoline form, open letter shapes and smooth, strong curves. To conceive a typeface that crossed the line from modern to futuristic, Lester decided to amplify these qualities.

About a year after Lester's initial conceptual work, two highly functional and versatile typefaces emerged. These are Neo Sans and Neo Tech, designs Lester describes as "legible without being neutral, nuanced without being fussy, and expressive without being distracting."

Both the Neo Sans and the more-minimalist Neo Tech families are available in six weights, ranging from Light to Ultra. Each has a companion italic, and Neo Tech offers a suite of alternate characters.

While engineered to look modern as tomorrow, Neo Sans and Neo Tech display the functional and aesthetic excellence that earns them a place in the list of classic designs from the Monotype typeface library."

When an external design agency approached Monotype in early 2004, looking for a “super-modern” font, Sebastian Lester went about crafting a completely unique letter set for the client.

The project was later put on hold, leaving Lester with a sketchbook full of conceptual ideas. Unwilling to let the proposed font fade away, Lester continued with his creation. The end results were the simple, sleek, mono-linear Neo Tech and Neo Sans designs. The fonts were published together on April 19th, 2004.

Despite its futuristic leanings, the Neo Tech design is easy to read and works well as a text font.

References:
Monotype: Neo Sans/Neo Tech Press Release
I Love Typography: An interview with Seb Lester
Linotype: Neo Sans and Neo Tech

Described as clean, versatile and “expressive without being distracting” by Lester, the Neo Tech design has been adopted and elaborated upon by a large number of designers. Since the font is such an adaptable and accessible typeface, it has been used in many different applications.

The Neo Tech design appears almost as much in print as it does online. A good example of the Neo Tech design in print form is the logo and graphic design bundle generated for Design Ecotech. It can be seen on the internet in certain parts of the Dribbble website, which is sometimes referred to as a visual version of Twitter for creative professionals.

In 2008, Data Robotics' Drobo™ storage device got a makeover when the company decided to use the Neo Tech font as a basis for the Drobo logo and accompanying published material. The Drobo rebranding received a lot of attention from the typography world and was touted as a great success by its parent company.

Geometric Sans
Sans Serif