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Please note that, except where indicated, these typefaces are not available for licensing.
Big Black Book Stencil
Empire State Building
Munich Re Group
2004. Commissioned by Robb Rice at Danilo Black, Inc., for Popular Mechanics. Available to publication designers through the Font Bureau Studio Library.
Graphic designers usually have much better ideas for typefaces than type designers do, because they know what they want to use and they aren't so hung up on pedigrees and etymology. Robb Rice told me, "I want DIN, but with slabs. I'm tired of Rockwell and Glypha. There isn't a cool slab out there right now." I drew a few test characters and he said, "Great! Now I need a bunch of weights, because I'm going to use this in Popular Mechanics." It all happened so fast that I barely remember drawing it. In the end, this face only has a passing resemblance to DIN, but borrowing DIN's clunky proportions, low contrast, and straight-sided curves was an excellent idea.
While drawing this face, I learned that serifs don't have to be very long to have a lot of impact. I also learned that a good trick for drawing a slab is to set up the relationships between the serifs, then draw in to the middle from there.
Thin, Light, Regular, Medium, Bold and Black weights, with italics.