New typeface: Stratos

A family that rethinks concepts of weight and width, spanning multiple hierarchies within a single style.

April 27, 2017

A family that rethinks concepts of weight and width, spanning multiple hierarchies within a single style.

Stratos is a geometric grotesque whose peculiar utility is derived from unusual ideas about proportion. It eschews conventional notions of typographic relationships — not just for novel effect, but to empower the user to do more interesting things with type. Designed by Yoann Minet.

The first and most obvious of these surprises can be seen in the difference between its upper- and lowercase. The caps are condensed, inspired by gothic wood type of the 20th century, while the minuscules are akin to certain classic geometric sans serifs, with circular rounds (o, d, b, p, q) and horizontal terminals (a, c, e, g, s). This contradiction presents intriguing possibilities. Used separately, the two designs exude individual personalities: the compact caps fill a page with the impact of a Victorian-era poster; the lowercase conveys an austere modernity. When employed together, the look is unexpected but surprisingly functional, thanks to carefully balanced spacing and weight.

The other uncommon concept has to do with the widths between weights. In Stratos, a line set in Black occupies no more space than one set in Thin. Each of the family’s ten weights share a common width — a technique known as multiplexing. This is useful for experimenting with font choice in magazine layouts, where content can remain constant while weight is adjusted. It also presents interesting opportunities for expressive and responsive typography. A website with dynamic backgrounds, for example, can serve the appropriate weight for optimal legibility without effecting the width of the text or the wrapping of lines. The upper- and lowercase letters are multiplexed as well, offering even more design flexibility.

Awards & distinctions Type Directors Club New York Certificate of excellence 2017

Cyrillic was produced by Ilya Ruderman and Yury Ostromentsky (CSTM Fonts) in 2017.

And finally, just to remind you: you can follow us on Instagram, Facebook and you can subscribe to newsletter (2-3 emails per month).

Mentioned fonts