The peace-loving type designers at House Industries have taken inspiration from old military vehicle lettering specimens (and their childhood love of G.I. Joe action figures) to create the largest-known font family in America, called United.
The new typeface collection by designer Tal Leming includes Sans, Serif and Italic styles, each in seven different weights and five different widths, for a total of 105 unique fonts.
Development of the massive typeface collection began more than six years ago, when a visitor to the House Industries studio brought a gift of an old diagram showing how numerals and upper-case letters were stenciled onto military vehicles. Originally drawn by an engineer, the stenciled outlines weren’t particularly useful as typeface. But House Industries artists recognized the merits of the letterforms and adapted them to create a versatile new font family.
The first designs for United were revealed in 2003, when the font was shown as one of three House Industries typefaces featured in the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum Design Triennial in New York City. Curator Ellen Lupton has recognized House Industries as a major typographic research lab that is having a global impact on design.
“Just as the world was beginning to fear that typography was getting soft, along came United from House Industries, and not a moment too soon,” said Lupton. “United is a tough font family for tough times. No prissy ligatures or sad-sack subtleties to be found here, my friend. This vast, multi-weight family shows that it is indeed possible for one big world to speak in one big voice. Definitely not for wafflers, this face is best used for nouns and verb—no ands, ifs, or buts.”
Posted by Rich Roat on April 3, 2006