Grilli Type creates universal typeface from diverse scripts

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"Universal Typeface"

Grilli Type, a small but ambitious typeface firm, has boldly reshaped a unique typeface into a universal design. By investigating and incorporating varied historical writing systems, they’ve managed to unite the old with the new — successfully merging tradition with contemporary design elements.

The project first saw the light of day in 2016, with a clear goal to create a sans serif typeface that combined the best of American Gothic and European Grotesque styles. The end result was a massive 84-style typeface that accommodated six widths and seven weights – a testament to diligent craftsmanship and versatility.

Not content with just the Latin alphabet, the Grilli Type team made it a priority to expand their typeface to cover scripts from a broad spectrum of languages. From Cyrillic to Greek, Vietnamese to Hebrew, the typeface now adapts gracefully to many different languages. Despite the inherent complexities of each language’s unique scripts, Grilli Type’s typeface holds its own as a flexible tool for both design and communication.

According to Grilli Type co-founder Noël Leu, this monumental achievement couldn’t have been attained without the collaborative efforts of international designers and expert consultants.

Crafting a universal typeface from diverse scripts

This global teamwork significantly elevated the quality of the scripts, demonstrating the capacity of creative cooperation in typographic design.

However, this ambitious project was not without its challenges. The Grilli Type team had to wrestle with unique directionality and patterns of each script, including right-to-left reading in Arabic and Hebrew, and both horizontal and vertical reading in Korean. The team overcame these hurdles through extensive research and a deep understanding of each language’s unique intricacies. They consider every obstacle as a valuable learning opportunity, aiming to further refine their scripts in the process.

Pushing the envelope in the typeface design process, Grilli has managed to strike a harmonious balance between tradition and innovation. In doing so, they have crafted a typeface that preserves the unique characteristics of each writing form while maintaining cultural relevance and universality. It’s a feat achieved through rigorous attention to detail and substantial international collaboration, setting an impressive standard for future typographic innovations.