Award-winning Manchester-based font studio F37 Foundry has launched its collaborative new typeface collection this week. Featuring designs from leading names and emerging talents, it's unlike anything you've seen.
Titled F37 X, this new section of F37 Foundry's offerings is centred around collaboration and champions the work of people who do not traditionally make typefaces. Led by work from big-name studios and designers, such as Nomad Studio, Anthony Burrill, and the late Milton Glaser, F37 X also features typefaces by people with brilliant ideas who have previously been unable to realise them as working fonts.
It's a novel idea that has been in the works for a good few years. In fact, it stems from a collaboration between F37 and Milton Glaser in 2015, where the two created a revival of a typeface first used on a Carnegie Hall bill poster from 1969.
When it was discovered that the lighter weights of the font had been lost when it was first digitised, F37 managed to correct this error with the font they made, Glaser Stencil. From there, whenever F37 worked with Lance Wyman and other designers, the idea for a new collaboration section quietly hummed away in the background.
Glaser Stencil isn't the only font from that time to get a new lease of life, thanks to F37 X. Superfried's experimental typeface Marbles also got a second chance thanks to the foundry's assistance.
"Back in 2015, a little typographic idea Superfried proposed for a New York magazine project was rejected," they explain. "That little idea was recycled and grew into a big personal project called Marbles. It featured a lot of press and even won an award.
"Fast forward to 2023, working with Rodrigo Feunzalida at renowned type foundry F37, Marbles has been developed into an experimental typeface featuring two fonts and four styles."
Marbles is just one of the 25 typefaces on offer, alongside the rule-breaking contribution by Non-Format called F37 Lara, plus Anthony Burrill's font inspired by the lettering found on cardboard boxes, appropriately titled Box. These two, in particular, are personal favourites of F37 founder Rick Banks, especially the latter, as it includes a variable bounce axis that creates a jumpy, rough and ready effect.
As well as being innovative, F37 X is also democratic. In the typeface collection, students' work is given equal weight to that of big industry names. Rick made this conscious decision, as he had often seen work while lecturing at university demonstrating brilliant ideas. Yet, he didn't have the connections or know-how to turn it into a fully-fledged font.
Rather than adhering to a house style, collaborators were encouraged to think outside the box and develop their ideas into broader technical horizons. Clown is a prime example of this, as it plays with multiple colour palettes. Meanwhile, Nifty features lots of interlocking italics.
The full list of collaborators involved with F37 X includes Alec Tear, Alisa Burzić, Anthony Burrill, Eurico Sá Fernandes, Grey Albornoz, Haider Muhdi, Hector Pottie, Jack Bennett, John Rooney, Keelin Wright, Lance Wyman, Milton Glaser, Non-Format, Nomad Studio, Ochre, Oli Frape, Phillip Block, Spin, and Superfried.
And if you like the look of their creations, head over to the F37 X collection, where everyone, from startups to large businesses, can purchase them.