Clean. Calm. Highly legible. This is the design brief Sebastian Lester set for himself when he began to create the Scene typeface family.
Knowing that, you’d never guess that Lester’s first commercial fonts were “alternative” display designs influenced by electronic gaming and house music. Lester began his career after graduating with honors from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. He spent several years designing for the music and games industries and dabbling in 3D animation. Then, in 2000, he joined Monotype Imaging, where he creates fonts for both on-screen and print uses. “I’ve always had a deep interest in type and typography,” says Lester, “but when I began creating text typefaces for Monotype Imaging, I gained new insight into the subtleties of letterform design.”
Work on Scene began after Lester had developed several corporate identity fonts for Monotype Imaging. He wanted to provide graphic designers and creative directors with a suite of fonts that would serve as a strong foundation for identity projects. He also wanted to incorporate what he’d learned about achieving best on-screen and print legibility. Much of the Scene family’s clarity lies in an x-height that sits comfortably between that of Helvetica and Verdana. Full-bodied counters, long ascenders and descenders, and exceptionally well-drawn letters also play their parts. Lester took special care with letter spacing and kerning to ensure optimal typographic color at any size.
Scene is the result of two years of after-hours and weekend work. “It started off as a part-time project,” says Lester, “but ended up as virtually a second full-time job.” The completed family is six weights with complementary italic designs. In addition are included a set of “semi-sans” characters that introduce more expressive word rhythms into headlines and blocks of copy. In addition, aligning and old style numerals were drawn for all six weights.
“I’m very pleased with this font family,” beams Lester. “I believe I’ve created a strong yet subtle communication tool that has much to offer designers working in corporate identity and other areas of design.” We wholeheartedly agree.
Newly released is Scene Pro, in OpenType format. Now graphic communicators can work with this versatile design while taking advantage of OpenType’s capabilities, including the automatic insertion of old style figures, ligatures and small caps.
The new Scene Pro fonts offer an extended character set supporting most Central European and many Eastern European languages, in addition to English.