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
Empire State Building
Munich Re Group
2009. Commissioned by the Munich Re design department, with external consultant Marcus Maurer at Keller Maurer Design. Designed by Kai Bernau, Susana Carvalho and Christian Schwartz. Released in a modified and expanded version as Atlas Grotesk by Commercial Type in 2012.
In 2008, large reinsurance company Munich Re decided it was time for a new corporate typeface to replace Univers. They asked both Atelier Carvalho Bernau and Schwartzco to bid on the project, so we decided to team up on the project and submit a joint proposal. The designers at Munich Re wanted something clean and respectable, and definitely wanted to the avoid the late-2000s trends in corporate design: overly friendly forms, distinctive characters that are weird for the sake of being weird, and above all else, rounded corners. Instead, they wanted to retain their 20th century Grotesk roots in a new typeface with narrower proportions and less squareness overall. We looked at the full range of 20th century sans serifs, and decided on Dick Dooijes's Mercator, released by the Lettergieterij Amsterdam in 1957, as a rough starting point. It seemed to have the right balance of seriousness and friendliness, personality and neutrality. Our final result is a European Grotesk with American Gothic proportions and contrast—quite different from Mercator, but I think its balanced personality still shows through. See more and better samples at Atelier Carvalho Bernau.
Light, Regular, Medium, Bold and Black with italics, all with small capitals.