Neo Sans and Neo Tech
The fab English designer Sebastian Lester
created the Neo® Sans and Neo Tech typeface families for Monotype Imaging in 2004. Lester’s development grew out of a proposed design for a local branding agency, who had a client in need of an ultra modern typeface that was futuristic without being gimmicky or ephemeral. Well, that is what the design brief said anyway. When terms like “ultra modern,” “futuristic,” or “gimmicky” mean is anybody’s guess, but Lester took on this intriguing assignment with glee. As all to often happens, a bureaucratic decision later cancelled the project.
Unmoved by this turn of events, Lester kept working on the his design in private. His research indicated that the principal ingredient of an “ultra modern” typeface was simplicity in character structure. The typefaces that would later become Neo Sans and Neo Tech took carefully drawn, monoline forms, with open letter shapes and smooth, strong curves.
Why two separate typeface families? They are easier to use that way. Neo Sans is the more conventional design, whereas Neo Tech is more reduced (and so perhaps, more “futuristic”). Users can decide which feeling better suits the use at hand.
Both the Neo Sans and the Neo Tech families are available in six weights, ranging from Light to Ultra. Each weight has a companion Italic, and Neo Tech offers a suite of alternate characters. Lester describes as Neo Sans as “legible without being neutral, nuanced without being fussy, and expressive without being distracting.”
Good words, in fact. Since the release of Neo Sans and Neo Tech, they have found use around the world by a number of corporations for their branding and identity purposes. But the typefaces are excellent choices for magazine headlines as well, and may even be used to set short amounts of text in brochures and leaflets.