Christian Schwartz has partnered with Paul Barnes to form Commercial Type, a new type foundry based in London and New York. Please click here to visit our site.
Please note that, except where indicated, these typefaces are not available for licensing.
Big Black Book Stencil
Zizou Sans (NEW)
Zizou Slab (NEW)
Empire State Building
Munich Re Group
2007-09. Commissioned by Robert Priest and Grace Lee at Condé Nast Portfolio. Additional styles commissioned by Meirion Pritchard at Wallpaper*. Available for licensing from Commercial Type.
When I first started work on Graphik, I wanted a very plain but relatively warm geometric sans for my own corporate identity. It was important that it be flexible, and that it didn't seem to be tied too closely to any particular era of graphic design. I ended up drawing inspiration from all parts of the 20th century. The heavy end of the family is based in part on Paul Renner's Plak, a relatively obscure display typeface cut only in large sizes of woodtype, that is related to his heavier weights of Futura but has rounder, friendlier, fatter proportions. For the lighter weights, I was more influenced by the less popular sans serifs that many European foundries released to compete with Futura, Helvetica and Univers - the juggernauts of 20th century sans serifs - such as Neuzeit Grotesk, Folio, Recta, and Maxima. None of these families were groundbreaking, exactly, but many of them had a certain quirky charm. Finally, I was also influenced by mid-20th century Swiss poster typography. Like many people with any sort of interest in graphic design history, I have long admired these posters. Many of them were set in Akzidenz Grotesk and other "generic" sans serifs, but others were lettered in a plain but idiosyncratic geometric style. These posters also helped me name the family the first time around, as 'Plakat' is German for 'poster'.
Because I originally drew Plakat for my own corporate ID, I didn't intend to release it, but it ended up being a good fit when Robert Priest and Grace Lee at Condé Nast Portfolio wanted a friendly but unassuming sans to play a supporting role in their type palette. Wallpaper* also wanted a very plain sans for their recent redesign, so the new art director, Meirion Pritchard, commissioned a custom Narrow width and a very thin weight.
Thin, Thin Italic, Extralight, Extralight Italic, Light, Light Italic, Regular, Regular Italic, Medium, Medium Italic, Semibold, Semibold Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, Black, Black Italic, Super, and Super Italic.