A new, friendly (free!) sans serifGet it ↓
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Free to use (and modify) → $0 or £0 or ¥0 or €0; it’s your call
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Friendly yet clean & simple glyphs
bolder weights? playful, chunky!
Solid enough for buttons and labels; nonetheless easy-going and fun
What lies in this book is perhaps more important as a whole rather than in its details. If you have only an hour to spend on it, it makes much more sense to read the whole book roughly in that hour than to read only the first two chapters in detail. For this reason, I have arranged each chapter in such a way that you can read the whole chapter in a couple minutes, simply by reading the headlines which are in italics. If you read the beginning and end of every chapter, and the italic headlines that lie between them, turning the pages almost as fast as you can, you will be able to get the overall structure of the book in less than an hour.
Then, if you want to go into detail, you will know where to go, but always in the context of the whole.
Monospace Numbers i
Scientific Inferiors i
One alternate “a” that just wants to party i
Figtree is a geometric sans serif font walking the line between simplicity and friendliness. It is minimalist but not stiff, casual but not silly.
In uppercase, the glyphs are ever-so-slightly widened, and the crossbars of forms like A, P and R are lowered, both of which give the caps a sturdy character. Many geometrics have a narrow S, but Figtree prefers something a bit more solid.
Ready to talk punctuation? I always say: a designer’s intention is revealed in the ?, and Figtree is no different! It's top-heavy, with an affected goofiness (especially in bolder weights). The ! has an almost cartoon-like tapering in the heaviest weights too.
But despite these casual design choices, other punctuation comes off as very minimalist: the , and “ are quadritalerals with horizontal terminals. This vibe carries over in the diacritics – é and û, for instance, align neatly with the cap height, whereas many geometrics have non-horizontal terminals on their accents.
Aligning glyphs with the baseline and cap height is one of the primary ways Figtree maintains a crisp, clean feeling, and two of my favorite examples are # and ‡. Plenty of typophiles would tell you these considerations nod to neo-grotesque sans serifs, an allusion that’s most clearly visible in the vertically-terminated arch of the r, but these days, every font is nodding at every other font. It's just life!
The numerals follow a similar balance between simplicity and friendliness. For instance, the ear of 1 has a playful bend to it (best appreciated at larger sizes). But, like the caps, I focused on giving some sturdiness to the numerals (besides, they often appear with caps anyways). Note the curved spine of 2 equalizes the top-left and bottom-right spaces, lending it a solid feel. This is also visible in the 5 – a personal favorite (hefty, yet not awkwardly so).
This font has been a labor of love, and I hope you enjoy using it for your friendly-yet-simple designs.
Without any further ado: Figtree!