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OKTAL / monospace typeface

OKTAL / monospace typeface

A monospaced type family composed of entirely mono-linear and modular structure, Oktal Mono first began as a design-philosophical discourse between Joachim Müller-Lancé and Erik Adigard of the design studio M-A-D in Sausalito, California. The typeface later came to life as a design experiment wherein a type designer (Joachim) and a graphic designer (Erik) collaborate each in their own capacity, from within their respective disciplines.

Erik had proposed the idea of a typeface concept that would be intentionally generic but with no curves what­soever, approaching legibility by breaking expected curves into facets. Joachim concerned himself with examin­ing systematically what happens when a circle is reduced or translated to a square, hexagon, and octagon, and which of these treatments appear the “least alien” to the original design: A condition that might even depend on the re­lation of type size to line width—smaller sizes requiring fewer facets so they won’t look merely like crumpled curves.

After an octagonal base was determined most ap­propri­ate for the average text size, the required glyphs were as­sembl­ed on a square grid like a construction toy, yielding large numbers of variations. Lastly, in lively discussion as al­ways, character shapes were select­ed for the best fit in rhythm and a con­sistent aes­thetic.