As its name perhaps implies, Clone feels familiar at first glance. The roundness of the letters with strong crossbars lends itself to that notion. The monospaced ‘i’, symmetrical ‘w’, and smooth ‘s’ fit the description. Upon further inspection, though, the typeface has a number of unique characteristics that make it enjoyable to read and set.
Looking at unique combinations of letters and words that people don’t often see, the combination of ‘z’ and ‘o’ came top of mind for me. Within seconds of typing the name “Zoë”, I noticed a really cool rogue serif on the ‘Z’. The serif balances the roundness of the other letters to make it feel natural in a way that I haven’t often seen with similar typefaces.
I was drawn to using Clone for its flows and balances; from word to word, how it scales from sentences to paragraphs. Taking a closer look at why I found the scalability worth mentioning, I realized it was often due to the bookending nature of the first and last letters of words. They created a scaleable unit that locked the word together quickly and pleasurably. The entry point of each letter, both vertically and horizontally, made it extremely easy to read.
As I used Clone, I sensed that Lasko Dzurovski spent a lot of time meticulously crafting the flow of each letter. There’s a lot readability magic happening. Over and over, I discovered fascinating letter combinations that made words sing in ways I hadn’t noticed before. Words like “benchmark”, “currently”, and “question” produce the locked-down bookend effect I described earlier. “Breaking” is a thing of beauty. It’s as though Dzurovski took every combination and gave it attention that others don’t take the time to consider.
Michael Surtees is a product design director and practitioner of user experience design (UXD) based in NYC. Currently he is the Head of Design at Dataminr designing early warning and detection systems for clients in News, Finance and the Public Sector.