A slew of slab serifs were released in 2008. Most of them continuing last year’s trend of following the cute and chunky approach, often to delicious effect.
But as marvelous as so many of those slab serifs were, sadly they were let down when it came to lighter, or more usable text weights. For me, it is Archer that stood out, with H&FJ concentrating on the lighter half of the spectrum, eight weights offering a delightful range of contrast, but never venturing heavier than bold. Making a text face distinctive with a clear personality that can scale right up to display sizes is a mammoth task at the best of times, but a slab?
Yet here it is; with its judicious yet brave use of ball terminals, and blending geometry with sexy cursive forms, all brought together with the kind of historical and intellectual rigour you fully expect from this particular foundry, Archer succeeds where others falter. I only hope that in its use out in the wild (and away from that jailbird Martha Stewart) people give it the same level of thought.
David Earls is a recovering graphic designer based in London. He sometimes designs typefaces for his own enjoyment, but considers himself to be very much an amateur who never wants to stop learning. David founded Typographer.org in 1999 in the hope it should provide fiercely independent voice on the web, with honesty, impartiality and independence of funding at its core.