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Commentary

Gotham Rounded: Corners Cut by Popular Demand

Typographica on January 10, 2007

Gotham Rounded fonts
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 fonts
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.

See also: Gotham Released : Gotham at World Trade Center Memorial
Until our comment engine is repaired: Related discussion at Typophile

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Typographica is a review of typefaces and type books, with occasional commentary on fonts and typographic design. Edited by Stephen Coles and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

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