Font Designer – Carl Crossgrove

Carl Crossgrove

Interview with Carl Crossgrove

How did you fall in love with type design?
I learned to read at a very early age and I became fascinated by handwriting, letterforms, calligraphy and typefaces. Type design is a natural outgrowth of that fascination for me.

How many typefaces have you developed until now?
Original retail: seven. Revivals/collaborations retail: twelve. Custom: numerous.

Is type design what you are mainly doing? What is your profession aside from type design?
Full-time type design.

One auto maker so far is implementing a version of Burlingame in its navigation displays …

What inspired you to design this typeface?
This design was proposed for a game series identity, but not accepted. Some time later it was proposed as a UI design for automotive displays, and accepted. One auto maker so far is implementing a version of Burlingame in its navigation displays. But we saw the potential for a large family in this style, so we expanded it to nine weights and two widths, all with italics.

The spacing and openness are a reaction to the lack of similar features in typefaces already available …

Are you influenced by other typefaces by the design of your typeface?
There is no one typeface that influenced Burlingame, but design ideas from other typefaces have been applied, like the triangular cuts at joins, flat tips on sharp counters, and superelliptical bowls. The spacing and openness are a reaction to the lack of similar features in typefaces already available.

What techniques did you use creating your font and what was the process for creating the design?
Sketches initially, but most of the development was done onscreen, to optimize performance in that environment.

What was the greatest challenge you faced while creating your typeface?
Providing crispness and clarity to a style that can tend to look monoline.

Please describe the look and feel of your typeface.
It’s a square sans with wide aperture and loose spacing, and some angled cuts to provide crispness and clarity.

The large x-height‚ open aperture‚ and loose spacing make this design very easy to read onscreen at small sizes …

Are there aspects of the design that you think should be highlighted, or you particularly want the graphic design community to know about your typeface?
The large x-height, open aperture, and loose spacing make this design very easy to read onscreen at small sizes. The shapes are solid and simple and project strength.

For what applications would you recommend your typeface (posters, text, newspapers, advertisements, etc.)?
Websites, small text, logos, branding, signage, headlines, interfaces.

What are the unique details from which you think they distinguish your typeface?
Triangular cuts at joins, square shapes, a diagonal, calligraphic stress.
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