High-waisted capitals. Condensed proportions. Carefully naive letter forms. These are the broad cultural strokes that give Baton its charming personality.
One feels both nostalgia for an obscure modernist France of the early 20th century, and mystery — for this is not a typeface revival or rendering of a specific poster style, but fiction.
What more can one say? Many types seek to imagine the elusive spirit of otherly places in bygone ages, neatly expressing it in today’s sharply consistent outlines and metrical precision. The quality of such types is pure visual style, unique and emotive, an essence that may be recognized and grow familiar, but can never be described in anything more than general terms.
Baton speaks to me, intriguing me with its subtle interplay of themes.
It is a language that engages the issue of authenticity. The eternal question: which value is to be most admired, sophistication or sincerity? And why not both?
Canadian type designer Nick Shinn, R.G.D. grew up in Barton-le-Clay, England, and now lives in Orangeville, Ontario. He went into the font business full time in 1998 with Shinntype. He has written for magazines such as Eye and Codex, and spoken at the ATypI, TypeCon, TYPO Berlin and TYPO San Francisco conferences.