TypeSupply / Timonium


There is a sans serif, high contrast, geometric style of lettering that I’ve been fascinated by for several years. It shows up throughout modern design history like a time traveling jack of all trades. I recall seeing variations of the style on cereal boxes, jazz album covers, pharmaceutical advertisements, stereophonic sound systems, action movie titles, and, most recently, athletic and automobile racing logos. Lettering styles sadly tend to get pigeonholed, but this one has managed to escape that fate. More remarkably, it has done so while looking downright un-generic. The style has personality to say the least.

A couple of years ago I noticed that I had been doodling a set of figures that had characteristics of the lettering described above. I drew some letters to match the figures and realized that I really wanted to draw a typeface like this. The result is Timonium, a five weight, high-contrast sans serif display family. Along the way I noted some key details of the lettering that inspired the family: small caps are frequently used instead of lowercase and italics tend to be really aggressive. So, each weight has small caps and a really aggressive italic.

At this point, it’s a type marketing cliché to say that a typeface is useful for everything. But, like the lettering style that inspired it, Timonium is capable of working nearly anywhere from cereal boxes to jazz album covers to pharmaceutical advertisements to stereophonic sound systems to action movie titles to athletic and automobile racing logos.

Version history

V1.000—Initial release version; 2012.07
V1.003—Update; 2013.07

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