vertical theatre and motel signage, I attempted to create a latin typeface that fully
embraces the orientation imposed by the single column layout.
Informed by Asian writing systems and interweaving patterns of various cultures, Icarus is perfect if you need to say something and you have a tall building.
Icarus, an experimental vertical display typeface, was created under the supervision of Greg Lindy.
For full effect, view this page in Firefox.
From the outset I decided to create a display typeface with a purpose, to be set vertically, an undertaking which posed several design challenges.
- How characters flow from one another.
- Legibility of characters individually, in words and sentences.
- Dealing with characters of various widths, from as wide as w, to as thin as an i.
Looking at options for ligatures and unifying methods, some modular some not, I ultimately decided that I’d rather create a system which would allow for the vertical gaps—or vertical kerning—to collapse as much as possible and create greater unity within whole words.
The final qualities of the typeface, came down to it having:
- Ascenders and descenders which protruded to the sides, allowing the typeface to condense vertical space whilst maintaining legibility.
- The vertical strokes were significantly heavier than the horizontals, in the attempt to give the typeface more vertical energy and help readability.
- Overall low x-height, again to ensure that counters were never so large as to create gouges in words.
- Subtle tapering overshoots where horizontal and vertical strokes meet, to give it some personality and more dynamic qualities.
Created around May of 2014