Font to represent Europe?

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Lee Vickers's picture
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Joined: 3 Feb 2012 - 4:57am
Font to represent Europe?
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Hi all

I'm working on a project which collaborates with and promotes the many different cultures of Europe, and trying to identify a typeface that can embody this.

A universal sans face would be the most obvious, like Helvetica, but I'm thinking a traditional Roman serif face would be more suitable to convey the history of Europe. I quite like Fournier, Sabon and Transitional.

Any thoughts?

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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What's the intended use (i.e. headlines, captions, longer texts)?

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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A half uncial would make sense.

But I would just use Franklin Gothic with Century Expanded and see how many people get the joke.

Glyphica's picture
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Joined: 3 Nov 2008 - 4:42am
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Have you thought about a corporate typeface?

Lee Vickers's picture
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Joined: 3 Feb 2012 - 4:57am
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riccard0 - It would be used as the base of an ID. Initially for a logotype.

Dunwich Type - Not everyone is as eagle-eyed as type designers...

deR - I think a typeface that predates corporate fonts would be more suitable than a more modern face. But I might be wrong.

Thanks guys, just in the exploration stage at the moment. An half uncial could be an interesting route...

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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This is a tough call. And if you try too hard it's sure to backfire.

A generic sans would be too weak, but a traditional serif isn't
right either because it would be too local to Ancient Italy.

I think what might work is a contemporary, funky serif font
with a strong Roman undercurrent, and fringe influences like
from Greece and Eastern Europe. Not perfect, but what about
Quadraat Italic?

www.fontfont.com/staticcontent/downloads/FF_Quadraat_Specimen_2012.pdf

--

BTW, I love the door in your logo!

hhp

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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A different approach could be a sans serif version of Trajan.
Or Novecento, which is inspired by european cities’ historical lettering (http://typography.synthview.com/).
If you want/need something which references a period in-between those two, you will need at least some hint of blackletter.
Or, finally, you could go the Typedia route (http://typedia.com/blog/post/behind-the-typedia-logo-design/).

Lee Vickers's picture
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Joined: 3 Feb 2012 - 4:57am
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Thank you hrant! My logo was a labour of love. Your points are exactly what I felt, only expressed more articulately! I'll have a look at Quadraat, it certainly seems like a good contender.

riccard0 - I think I'd looked at Novocento; I'm a big fan of geometric fonts, and love the big, round circular characters. However I'm a bit worried that this font might date a bit quickly if used for a logo, or that I'm using it because it's a personal favourite! That's a great back-story to the Typedia logo and something I might consider.

Thanks for all the advice, it's been really helpful. Although I'm an experienced designer, proper typography is an area I'm still working on and a tool I find fascinating. Cheers guys!

Andreas Stötzner's picture
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 - 10:21am
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I was about to suggest a Roman Capitalis Sans without Serifs, when I spotted that riccard0 had the very idea just posted ;-)
That would embrace and represent the 2000 years of European lettering history. There are several choices of fonts, I’m sure.

Florian's picture
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Joined: 7 Dec 2009 - 4:35pm
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A cynic might say Rotis would represent Europe.

Lee Vickers's picture
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Joined: 3 Feb 2012 - 4:57am
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Andreas - like an engraver's sans?

flooce - yes, but it's hardly the nicest semiserif out there! There's something nasty going with the 'a's.

I've tried to create my own serif characters for the wordmark, taking elements from Andron and Quadraat, but opening up the counter on B, a & d. I'd be grateful of a critique, and whether it works or not. At this point it's a quick work in progress, and the kerning's all off...

Florian's picture
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Joined: 7 Dec 2009 - 4:35pm
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I am not competent to say what would represent Europe, but if this style of old style is what you want to go for, what about Clifford?

Tim Daly's picture
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Joined: 11 Sep 2003 - 9:04am
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For sans options Juvenis, Aspect or perhaps Sparrowhawk.

Tim

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> There's something nasty going with the 'a's.

I remember when we were walking around Leipzig we saw
one and Adam Twadroch said it looks like a pooping dog.
But I personally like (and in a way admire) Rotis. However
it is too loose for text.

BTW:
http://typophile.com/node/89847

hhp

Lee Vickers's picture
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Joined: 3 Feb 2012 - 4:57am
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> ...it looks like a pooping dog.

Just looked again at a Rotis 'a' - thanks for the chuckle, I needed that!

I'll check out the other link too, lots of good stuff in there.

Satya Rajpurohit's picture
Joined: 27 Jul 2006 - 3:31pm
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Trinite by Bram de Does?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I think he means 21st century Europe...

hhp

Alexander Katt's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2010 - 9:53am
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Livory?

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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Why not some random Ransom?

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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It should have Greek and Cyrillic. (With Greece and Bulgaria as members, there are three official “alphabets”—scripts—in the EU.)
And it should work well in accent-heavy languages such as Czech and Slovak.

darrel's picture
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Joined: 4 Feb 2003 - 6:03pm
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I'm pretty sure no typeface has the ability to convey the history of the entirety of Europe. I think that's unfair to any typeface to ask it to solve that riddle.

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Rem Koolhaus Euro flag:

I wonder what a similar concept typeface would look like.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Just as stupid? (I do love Koolhaas's buildings though!)

I myself am advocating something much more subtle.

hhp