Gotham Rounded, published by Hoefler & Frere-Jones
Hold onto your hats. If you thought the iPhone frenzy was big, the font industry’s equivalent was just announced: Gotham Rounded. Ok, I hyperbolize. But this release represents the merging of two white-hot trends in design: Gotham (hugely popular since its 2002 release) and rounded type (an unwritten requirement of Web 2.0 design).
In January 2005, Print magazine commissioned a rounded version of the Tobias Frere-Jones typeface for its redesign. Assumably, the year of exclusivity has passed and Gotham Rounded is now available to the general public.
Bryant 2, published by Process Type Foundry
There are obvious predecessors — VAG and the antique, under-appreciated Burin Sans — but Eric Olson’s very similar Bryant has been around in various incarnations since 2002 and used nicely by MOO, the SF MOMA, and young hip design firms like WSDIA. Bryant is quirkier, more hand-made than Gotham Rounded — an advantage or drawback depending on the setting — but its alternate stemless glyphs and condensed widths give it a flexibility edge over the heavyweight newcomer.
Regardless, expect to see a lot of H&FJ’s “draftsman’s alphabet” in the next few months. It’s undeniably appealing, and quiet enough that I don’t think we’ll tire of it very quickly.