Typeface Review


Reviewed by Christian Schwartz on July 11, 2007

Commissioned as a replacement for the Wall Street Journal’s DowText, Exchange was unveiled when the European and Asian editions switched to tabloid format in October.

I can’t say that I love this typeface (honestly, warm and fuzzy likability is usually beside the point in a news text face) but I certainly am fascinated by it. To me, Exchange is the logical endpoint for most the current trends in news text faces because it uses every trick in the book: exaggerated ink traps, demonstrative faceting, and “chopped” ball terminals. But the real genius of this face is that it still has enough formal ties to DowText that I really doubt whether many of the readers will notice a difference. Although the individ­ual character shapes are radically different, the basic weight, proportion, and character are the same. I suspect that the WSJ’s readers will simply find one day that their daily paper is suddenly easier to read.

Christian Schwartz is a type designer, typography consultant, and co-founder of Commercial Type in New York City. He was awarded the prestigious Prix Charles Peignot in 2007 and his work has been selected many times as Typographica Favorites.

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  1. Svend Design says:

    […] I’ve been experimenting with a more intricate relationship to the past. Both Archer and Exchange try this “atomized history” approach, dividing a problem into parts and looking to […]

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