In recent years, I have embarked on various projects to develop both grotesque and serif typefaces. Each of these endeavours has had its own distinct focus and design strategy. Often, my serif fonts are heavily influenced by calligraphy, while my sans serif typefaces are guided by minimalism and geometric construction.
The idea of infusing a sans serif typeface with a pronounced calligraphic expression was particularly intriguing to me, and thus, Yport was born. Interestingly, I began this project without any preconceived notions or cultural/historical references in mind.
My primary tool of choice: a broad nib pen
As you can observe from the sketches below, I am by no means a master calligrapher. Nevertheless, having a basic understanding of calligraphy and experimenting with its principles proved to be sufficient for my purpose.
I embarked on this journey armed with a broad nib pen, allowing me to explore various possibilities. Over time, I discovered certain features that resonated with me. Incorporating these distinctive characteristics into every imaginable shape required meticulous attention to detail. The pen served as a valuable reference, inspiring fresh ideas while simultaneously imposing limitations due to its physical constraints.
Early sketches created using a broad nib pen on paper.
After several weeks of experimentation solely with the nib pen, I made my first scan.
From there, I entered a work loop, transitioning between digital and analog mediums…
Initially, my digital versions exhibited high contrast and sharp edges. I was particularly focused on imbuing this sans serif typeface with a calligraphic expression. For me, it is a common design strategy to start with exaggerated elements, only to later refine and tweak the shapes until they feel just right.
An early digital iteration of Yport emphasising contrast.
The final version of Yport: balanced and evocative of calligraphy.
This was a intriguing design process. The typeface was constructed based on countless sketches made with a nib pen. This renders Yport a truly unique and eye-catching typeface, characterised by its distinctiveness and unexpected details. Nevertheless, Yport exudes a sense of familiarity, making it both recognisable and practical.