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Typeface Review


Reviewed by Frode Bo Helland on March 13, 2013

I’ve always considered grabbing attention to be the main point of the Grotesque genre. Where Humanists are built for immersion, Grotesques — with their tall x-heights, tight spacing, and narrow apertures — are clearly designed to cover as much surface as possible: Making an impact is the primary task. Trim walks the same path, but doesn’t stop until it reaches a dead end.

Göran Söderstrom uses a seemingly simple trick to great effect in his daring release. It’s all in the name: these letters from Sweden trim diagonals, notches, and rounds aggressively. The resulting word shapes are even more dense than in your standard grotesque, perfectly fitted for attention-craving, hard-hitting tabloid headlines. I can also see this typeface catching on in more artistic design work; its bold angularity reminds me of designer favorites like Kade and Replica.

The family’s latest addition, designed with Patch Hofweber, is Trim Poster. Optimized for compact headlines, the accents are fused with the base glyphs in a fashion worthy of the fancy diacritics Flickr pool. Sadly, the familiar Scandinavian diacritics seem to have received more attention than the rest — the cramped tilde especially suffers.

Trim’s selection of styles is broad, spanning six weights and a stencil cut. All but the stencil are also offered as manually hinted webfonts. The one-weight Trim Poster wisely comes in multiple widths, and also includes six different accent style variations. I wonder if there’s a set of matching italics under development? That would make this already versatile family even more useful.

Frode Bo Helland is a bad husband, lousy type designer, intrusive smoker  — in short, a dystopian nightmare. He is one third of Monokrom, and 2012 marked his debut as a type designer with Vinter and Aften Screen.

One Comment

  1. a r b o says:

    Sweet, but it comes after two prior typefaces.

    Trim utilizes the same basic concept as FB’s Clicker, but is more versatile with less topological extremities.

    My own Ganymede is based on the same principle of having round portions or stroke join straight parts abruptly. Although I favored blackletter forms in the capitals.

    Whether Trim is indebted to its precedents I won’t venture to say. I’ll leave that for others to discuss (is it really worth debating?)

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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 with Caren Litherland and designed by Chris Hamamoto. Founded in 2002 by Joshua Lurie-Terrell. Relaunched in 2009 by Coles and Hamamoto.

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