Graphik Typeface

Graphik Typeface

First drawn for the Schwartzco Inc. identity, then finished for Condé Nast Portfolio and expanded for Wallpaper* and later T, the New York Times Style Magazine. Graphik was inspired by the elegant plainness seen in many of the less common 20th century European sans serifs and in handlettering on classic Swiss Modern posters.

Graphik was inspired from all parts of the 20th century. The heavy end of the family is based in part on Paul Renner’s Plak, a relatively obscure display typeface cut only in large sizes of woodtype, that is related to his heavier weights of Futura but has rounder, friendlier, fatter proportions. For the lighter weights, I was more influenced by the less popular sans serifs that many European foundries released to compete with Futura, Helvetica and Univers – the juggernauts of 20th century sans serifs – such as Neuzeit Grotesk, Folio, Recta, and Maxima. None of these families were groundbreaking, but many of them had a certain quirky charm.

About The Designer

Christian Schwartz (born 1977), is a type designer and typogra- phy consultant based in New York City and with Paul Barnes is a partner in Commercial Type. A graduate of the Communication Design program at Carnegie Mellon University, Schwartz first worked at MetaDesign Berlin, developing typefaces for Volkswagen and logos for a number of corporations. He then returned to the US and joined the design sta  at The Font Bureau, Inc., working for a wide range of corporate and publication clients.

Schwartz set out on his own in 2001, first forming Orange Italic with product designer Dino Sanchez and Schwartzco Inc. in 2006. He has released fonts with Village, FontFont, House Industries, and digital type pioneers Emigre. Many of Schwartz’s typefaces have been proprietary designs for publications, including the The New York Times, the US edition of Esquire, Roger Black’s redesign of the Houston Chronicle, and the extensive Guardian Egyptian family, with Paul Barnes, for The Guardian’s celebrated new look in 2005. Schwartz has also designed type-faces for corporations including Bosch and Deutsche Bahn, both with design luminary Erik Spiekermann, reinsurance giant Munich Re, with Kai Bernau and Susana Carvalho of Atelier Carvalho Bernau, and the Empire State Building, also with Barnes.

Schwartz was awarded the prestigious Prix Charles Peignot in 2007, given every four or five years to a designer under 35 who has made “an outstanding contribution to the field of type design” by the Association Typographique Internationale. As part of the redesign team for The Guardian, Schwartz and Barnes were shortlisted for the Designer of the Year prize by the Design Museum in London. The pair were named two of the 40 most influential designers under 40 by Wallpaper* in 2006, and Schwartz was included in Time magazine’s 2007 “Design 100”. Also in 2007, Schwartz and Spiekermann received a gold medal from the German Design Council (Rat für Formgebung) for their Deutsche Bahn typeface system. Schwartz’s typefaces have been honored by the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the New York Type Director’s Club, and the International Society of Typographic Designers, and his work with Barnes has been honored by D&AD.


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