Josh Finklea’s newest release, the Centra Series, is a study in utility and restraint. In keeping with his approach of iteration and improvement to the traditional typographic tools of graphic design, Finklea’s latest work tackles one of typography’s most popular genres, the geometric sans.
The Centra Series is divided into two parts, both sharing a foundational geometric structure. While Centra No.2 leans into its modernist roots, Centra No.1 finds a more humanist voice, drawing inspiration from the great British contributions to the genre like Johnston and Gill Sans. The construction differences between the two families, as well as their intricate system of stylistic alternates, comprise an interesting stylistic axis, between the geometric and the mildly humanist, and provide designers with a robust set of tools for navigating this axis.
Centra No.1, the humanist edition of the Centra series, employs classic vertical sheers reminiscent of ancient roman capital construction, but within a geometric framework.
Centra No.2, the more modernist geometric of the series, ends its curvilinear terminals with diagonal shears and smooth tapering (with the exception of the uppercase and lowercase “C”, a nod to the late great Paul Renner).