Tag Archives: Joshua Darden

Kade and Freight Micro

Author’s note: I’m making transparency a central theme in this edition of Great Pairs.

Today we look at David Quay’s Kade together with Joshua Darden’s Freight Micro, and since I’m promoting the new Tryout feature at next.fontshop.com, all of the images shown here link you to their source, where you can go and mess around with the samples, and very possibly come up with something that works even better for your own purposes.

Quickly, let me add that this feature (the new Tryout feature) is limited to webfonts that we offer, so keeping this page open as a reference to what will work is advised: FontShop’s Webfonts. I also recommend against pasting text into the Tryout feature, and also, you should use a modern desktop browser. Going against this advice (as I have as part of testing the feature) will reveal what remains to be fixed, however, the feature’s failure to deliver the expected result looks a lot more like it’s simply not responding to your input. Sticking to options you can be somewhat confident will work will give you a much more positive experience with this tool. Today is May 23, 2013 and the above is all subject to change. Now on to Kade and Freight Micro.

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 10.04.11 AM

Reading about Kade, the concept comes from lettering on ships and docks in the Netherlands, an engineer’s approach to letter making. Getting my own good look at the face, I see it doing well in the portrayal of the idea of technical subjects, such as math and sciences. Freight Micro is one optical size of Freight (serif) drawn specifically to function at around 6 pt and below, and part of the larger Freight Super Family.

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 10.14.34 AMScreen Shot 2014-05-23 at 10.31.16 AM

The thing that really unifies this combination is its attention to the relationship between interior and exterior contours, hard lines wrapped with taut, smooth ones. In Kade, this is mainly a stylistic decision. In Freight Micro, similar results were arrived at under the constraints of performance at very small sizes. It’s fine, by the way to use a typeface intended for small sizes at larger ones, though be careful of it falling apart. The other way around (using type drawn for large sizes to set text) generally doesn’t work.

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 11.11.39 AM

That’s it. Great Pairs land here each *Wednesday.

*though you may have noticed today’s not Wednesday, it’s Friday. I had to replace a bad hard drive and got a little behind this week. Thanks for reading.

Dutch/American English/German: Freight and Edward

Freight is Joshua Darden’s robust text family, done in the style of Johann Fleischmann’s sparkling baroques, with a few of its own tricks. You’ll notice if you look through our Freight offerings, that there is in fact a Freight Sans, which pairs quite well if you’re going for more of an Americanized humanist feel, but I thought I’d stretch the range of Freight [serif] a bit more toward a British sensibility. To do that, I’m pairing it with the latest riff on Edward Johnston’s ‘block’ lettering, Hendrik Weber’s Edward. If I were keeping score, and clearly I am by the title, Hendrik is a German designer drawing from an English face, and Joshua is an American designer working from a Dutch one. Taking these additional lenses into consideration can help inform why certain characteristics of the faces are played up or deemphasized. Together, the two create an approachable and inviting atmosphere in their in-between weights, and a comical harmony when each bares its more extreme side.


Quick historical note: If you’re thinking, ‘This looks awfully familiar,’ It’s likely because it looks a lot like Gill Sans. Edward Johnston and Eric Gill were contemporaries, and their sanses look a lot alike. Johnston’s came first. End historical note. In nine weights, Edward captures well the quirks of the British sign painter and letter cutter, without trying too hard to be a faithful revival.

Because Freight comes in a range of optical sizes, you can either use them for their stated purpose, or use a more robust cut at a given size, for a coarser texture. See above Freight Micro, next to Freight Text. And below: Given the chance, Edward is quite capable of delivering texts of moderate length.

That’s all for now. Catch another Great Pairs here on Wednesday. PS. Did you spot the almost Erbar a?

Freight Sans Condensed is Here.

With yesterday’s update comes a much-anticipated extension to the already massive Freight Superfamily, Freight Sans Condensed.

Joshua Darden’s Freight [Serif] is known for its ability to achieve just the right balance on the page due to its many available weights in four optical sizes. In corresponding weights, Freight Sans, and now Freight Sans Condensed offer a versatile companion that holds a common tone across widths. Freight is published by GarageFonts. Find out more about the family on the Freight Superfamily page.

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