n the history of 20th century graphic arts, the evolution of the informal sans serif has been a uniquely American phenomenon. The ongoing saga of this (still as popular as ever) sub-genre dates back to the maturity of the Industrial Age and early Hollywood film titling, runs through the prosperous times of interwar print publications, sees mass flourishing during the various media propagations of the film type era, and solidifies itself as arguably the most common design element in the latter years of the century. Fun, bouncy, playful, and highly exciting, the casual sans serif is now all over game packaging, film and animation titles, book covers, food boxes, concert posters, and pretty much everywhere design aims to induce excitement about a product or an event. The casual sans is the natural high pill of typesetting.

We figured it was high time for the casual sans to adapt to 21st century technology, gain more versatility, and become as much fun to use as the emotions it triggers. So we’re quite excited to issue Bananas, a fun sans serif family in 6 weights and 3 widths that can be used anywhere your designer’s imagination can take you. Alongside the 18 fonts of the Bananas family, we’re including BananasVF, a variable font that harnesses the latest font technology magic to allow for extreme weight and width precision. With the interpolative features of its dual axes, the font seamlessly works within your design, rather than the too-common scenario of the design having to go through compromises in order to accommodate the font.

Rather than being based on a single design, Bananas was sourced from multiple American film era faces, all from 1950s and 1960s, when the casual sans genre was at its popular peak. Headliners’ Catalina and its very similar cousin, Letter Graphics’ Carmel, served as initial study points. Then a few Dave West designs informed the design development and weighting process, before narrow and wide takes were sketched out and included in the family. The entire development process happened in a highly precise interpolative environment, eventually embodied in BananasVF, the highly malleable variable font included at no charge with the purchase of the entire Bananas family.

All Bananas fonts come with a full glyph complement supporting the majority of Latin languages, as well as five sets of figures, automatic fractions, quite a few ligatures, biform/unicase shapes and other stylistic alternates.

As of the launch of the Bananas family, variable fonts are supported by both Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Photoshop CC. For a short video demonstration of how to use BananasVF in Illustrator CC please see here. For a Photoshop CC demo, please see here. And for some more reading about variable fonts, see this post in our journal.

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From $30 USD