Out Work is a collection of thoughts on graphic design and life by Sarah Joe, a Singapore-based creative.

Just typing as I think, don’t take me too seriously.


06.04.20 Finding a different Grotesk
Tags Design

            I tend to go over the same procedures when I design editorial and they usually start off like this:

  1. Define publication/medium size
  2. Set margins and grids etc.
  3. Choose a typeface.

            Step 3 for me is crucial, personally I subconsciously zoom in on how the typeface speaks for a brand (and by brand I mean in the most loose sense. Anything we design coherently is a ‘brand’ no?) more so than its colour or copy.

            That being said, I tend to want to make the headliner typefaces I choose quirky or just that bit different from others. It's another subsconscious drive for me to want to show my viewers that I did put in alot of thought into the typeface choice.

            But what about Grotesk fonts? The ease of desktop publishing has resulted in way too many fonts and when it comes to Grotesk, we're too spoilt for choice I think we ultimately just go with Helvetica. I too find myself wanting my typeface choice to relate somewhat to Helvetica should I be wanting a Grotesk. But I don't want to just use Helvetica, it's become a fallback for 'easy design' and that does not sit right with me. It's a confusing paradox of capitalistic design. I want things to look classic but it can't use the elements that defined this classic look.

             That being said, I found myself instantly loving Radio Grotesk. It's beautifully quirky without stripping away what I wanted from a Grotesk. The slight aggression in the slope of the h and how it sits just slightly thin compared to the classic Helvetica, is amazing. It’s those subtleties that I or anyone worth designing for will catch. It's a little terrible for reading though.