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Commentary

Klavika Almost Didn’t Happen

Yves Peters on December 10, 2004

Eric Olson’s Process Type Foundry just released Klavika, an OpenType family which follows the recent trend of straight-sided technical sans serifs (see Sophisto, Fishmonger, Morgan Sans, and Stainless). The family comes in four weights with matching small caps and italics, and features all the trimmings — from extended ligature sets, alternate numeral styles and a nice collection of arrows, to support for a plethora of foreign languages.


Klavika is a versatile workhorse typeface. Despite its clean design, it manages to retain a certain warmth and openness. The roman sports a lovely lowercase ‘a’, a cute little alternate ampersand, and one of the most beautiful lowercase ‘g’s I’ve seen in this type of design. The fact that it is released as “fat OpenType” is just icing on the cake and gives the competition a serious run for its money.

It came as a bit of a surprise when Eric confessed that the typeface nearly escaped an early death:

I was a little reluctant about the face for several months and even shelved it completely at one point. Anytime you apply some amount of simple geometry (in this case, straight sides) to a face the chances for stylistic overlap become great. Faces like DIN, Sophisto, Bell Gothic etc. have straight sides so the push to differentiate from them was tough. In the end I just forgot about it and tried to make an open, solid and logical typeface. Hopefully something flexible and rugged.

See also: Sophisto Breaks Basic Sans Monotony

Yves Peters is a [typo]graphic designer, drummer with Rosa Luxe*, Grand Theft, Troubleman, and The Secret Reggae Band, and father of three. He writes about type and typography for The FontFeed and Unzipped, his blog for FontShop Benelux. His talent for being able to identify most typefaces on sight is utterly useless in daily life.

8 Comments

  1. I really think Klavika is an achievement, bringing some warmth to a still neutral, high-tech looking design. And it manages to get openness into relatively narrow design, which gives it an inviting readability compared to many sans. I hope we see a lot of it.

  2. William wrote his comment over 3 years ago and his wish has come true. We’re seeing a lot of Klavika. Here is the “in use” page at Process and here are a few images and links I’ve collected.

  3. Chris Keegan says:

    It is also being used a lot by Chevrolet in some of their collateral and advertising.

  4. Tiffany says:

    @Chris Klavika is the new typeface for Chevrolet (and GM). It is all over the artwork in the site for advertisers.

  5. Luís Soares says:

    Facebook logo uses it

  6. Yep! Read more about that at Fonts In Use.

  7. [...] is Eric Olson’s very popular straight-sided tech sans Klavika, a typeface that surprisingly almost didn’t happen. Nice texture [...]

  8. [...] To conclude, let me share with you the surprising fact that the insanely popular Klavika, Process Type Foundry’s most successful face to date, almost wasn’t released. From my Typographica piece of December 10, 2004: [...]

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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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