New Additions: March 2024

31st March 2024

From the hundreds of fonts we add to the Identifont database every month we chose a selection of the most interesting recent additions, and interviewed the designers about their approach to each design:

Push Light


Push Black

Push Extra Condensed

Push Extra Wide

Christine GertschPush (Fontwerk)

Push is a sans-serif typeface with a generous range of eight weights from extra light to extra bold, and seven widths from extra condensed to extra wide. What inspired you to design it?

I really like the possibilities that variable fonts offer. To design a system and a design space rather than individual weights is an interesting challenge. So the interpolation and animation aspects were in my mind from the beginning. Then I wanted to explore how styles could evolve across design axes. What if the characters became not only bolder but also more bulky? I wanted to achieve that without the extremes turning into caricatures.

You’ve written that Push was partly inspired by Paul Renner’s poster typeface Plak, and this inspiration is clearest when comparing Push Black with Plak Black (compare Push Black and Plak Black), but Push has its own distinctive approach to some characters such as the ‘J’, ‘g’, and ‘y’. What inspired the design of these?

I like the bold and graphic style of early 20th Century Grotesques. However, Push is not a revival or reinterpretation of an existing typeface. My goal was to include some elements that lend a contemporary look to the typeface, such as thin joins or the vertical ear of the ‘g’. I also aimed for an interplay between straight, reduced shapes and round elements, hence the curved stroke in the ‘y’ and ‘J’ and the soft transition in the spine of the ‘s’.

The normal width and plain weight of Push makes a very readable text font, but it also works well at extreme weights and widths as a display font. What were the main challenges in achieving this flexibility?

When I began working on the typeface, I didn’t have the final family with all its 56 styles in mind. I started with the black extremes and tried to push them into strong display styles for bold headlines. After adding the extra light weight, the interpolated results at normal widths and weights seemed too mechanical and almost stiff. So I added several masters (these are the drawn sources) in between for more control. Throughout the design process I had to decide when to push individual styles and when to prioritise overall consistency. This was a constant interplay between concept, visual style and technical aspects.

Tech-wise, it was a challenge to get all the instances to work the way I wanted them to. Part of that challenge was figuring out how many masters I needed and where to place them on the axes. I tried six, eight, and even twelve masters. Finally, I have six masters for most of the glyphs which reduces the final file size. But for some glyphs I ended up keeping twelve masters to control curves at each point in the design space. 

Fontwerk's description of Push says that it uses a “clever curvature transformation … across the family”. Can you explain a bit more about what this means.

Technically, points on the outline move linearly from one style to the next. Therefore, it makes sense to structure the shapes in a similar way across the different widths. This way, font families look consistent and intermediate styles can be calculated in a controlled manner. With Push, however, I wanted to take a different approach: I wanted the extra condensed styles to create a strong graphic rhythm. Part of this is straight vertical segments. As the characters get wider, they become softer, almost geometric towards normal widths and plain weights. With extra wide and black styles, shapes are almost pumped up; horizontal parts are emphasised.

An analogy can be drawn with athletes: depending on what is important in their discipline – speed, strength, endurance – different physical qualities are required. In terms of typography, I thought this might offer some interesting combinations of styles: a sturdy headline with a delicate lead and a more neutral body text for example. I am curious to see how graphic designers will end up using the typeface.

YWFT Coopera

YWFT Coopera Bold

YWFT Coopera Black

Michael Paul Young – YWFT Coopera (YouWorkForThem)

YWFT Coopera is clearly related to Oswald Bruce Cooper’s 1919 typeface Cooper. Would you call it a revival, or is it just inspired by it? 

YWFT Coopera is indeed inspired by Oswald Bruce Cooper’s original classic. In the past year we have observed a particular interest in rounded serif designs, a stylistic resurgence that speaks both of historical reverence and modern reinterpretation. Designed with digital screens in mind, predominantly mobile phones, YWFT Coopera aims to provide the readability required by social media headlines. It is a homage inspired by Cooper, yet distinctly tailored for the contemporary tableau of typographic expression.

Comparing YWFT Coopera with Cooper, one clear difference is that your typeface is more condensed (compare YWFT Coopera with Cooper BT Medium). What was the reason for this?

We decided to give YWFT Coopera a more condensed profile because in social media and video content there is a clear preference for condensed typography, allowing for greater impact and readability in restricted spaces.

Another difference between YWFT Coopera and Cooper is that your typeface accentuates the distinctive curved serifs, especially in characters such as the ‘E’, ‘G’, ’S’, ‘a’, and ‘c’, and in the numerals. What was the inspiration for these changes?

We made these changes to inject a fresh, contemporary energy into the typeface, to resonate with the aesthetic sensibilities and functional needs of today’s designers. This approach reflects our broader vision of engaging with the past to inspire the future of type design.

Piet Mono

Piet Mono Italic

Piet Sans

Piet Sans Bold

Nils Thomsen-HabermannPiet Mono and Piet Sans (TypeMates)

You’ve written that Piet Mono and Piet Sans were inspired by Finnish licence plates; what led you to use these as the basis for a typeface?

I was particularly impressed by the shape of the numbers. The numbers were so crooked and bent, but they had a strong aura. For me, numbers are somehow always one of the most important things in a font and so I found it exciting to take a look at them. However, it wasn't easy to design the lowercase letters based only on numerals and capitals.

At first sight Piet Sans shares characteristics with mechanical lettering typefaces like DIN Mittelschrift (compare Piet Sans and DIN Mittelschrift), but it has some quirky variations in stroke width such as in the ‘A’ , ‘W’, ‘e’, and ‘m'. What influenced these features?

To be completely honest, I wanted to give the writing a little more soul. So I developed a concept based on the small ‘m’. With the lowercase ‘m’ it was initially helpful to reduce the grey value. Even though I deliberately tried to keep the horizontal strokes as bold as the vertical ones, I found it exciting to always make an exception for letters that have a middle stroke: ‘A’, ‘H’, ‘E’, ‘F’, ‘Z’, ‘2’, ‘e’ or ‘m’. It's not always noticeable, but depending on the context you do notice it.

The Piet family also includes a monospaced version with an unusual italic, Piet Mono Italic, in which the characters seem to have been drawn with a perspective vanishing point. What was the thinking behind this?

At first I didn't know exactly whether Piet should be mono or sans, and I experimented with both a lot. But then I came to the conclusion that the inspiration, the number plates, are also monospaced, so Piet Mono should be the basis. Sans was actually only offered to make users happy.

So I thought it would be good if the italics were also very different from sans to mono. So the italic got a rotated version in the mono. The italic is actually only rotated by 10 degrees. In the end, I balanced out and corrected a few things and some characters stood out too much, so I straightened letters such as ‘E’, ‘I’, and ‘Z’ on the baseline, which is a really strange idea, but it works.

Seboff Display Light

Seboff Display

Seboff Display Bold

Mariya Lish – Seboff Display (Inhouse Type)

Seboff Display is a striking gothic-style typeface, and many characters include pronounced ink traps; for example, the ‘G’, ‘W’, ‘b’, ‘g’, ‘y’, and ‘9’. What was the thinking behind these?

I've long been fascinated by ink traps, and I've been on a quest to elevate this aspect of type design to new heights of intensity. My goal has been to push the boundaries, challenging myself to address various legibility concerns that arise when departing from the conventional.

Ink traps presented quite a challenge, but I thrive on challenges in type design. There's something immensely satisfying about unravelling visual puzzles and finding creative solutions. It's this problem-solving aspect that fuels my passion for type design – it's a constant journey of exploration and innovation.

Another distinctive characteristic of Seboff Display is its small wedge serifs. What inspired these?

The introduction of wedge serifs was a deliberate choice following my exploration of ink traps. I found that they brought a fresh level of balance to the overall design, enhancing its aesthetic appeal.

Seboff Display’s capitals are reminiscent of Goudy's classic typeface Copperplate Gothic 30 BC (compare Seboff Display and Copperplate Gothic 30 BC). Was that an influence? 

I hadn't considered Goudy's Copperplate Gothic until you brought it up. It didn't consciously influence the design, but perhaps there was some subconscious influence there.