Our weekly look at a favorite new typeface. Share yours with us on Twitter and Instagram @AIGAdesign with #TypeTuesday.
Back story: GT Eesti is based on the Soviet Cold War-era typeface, Zhurnalnaya Roublennaya (Журнальная рубленая), designed in 1947 by Anatoly Schukin. It features heavily in the Estonian children’s books that Swiss graphic designer Urs Lehni his students Reto Moser and Tobias Rechsteiner in 2009. Charmed by the books and especially fascinated by the typeface, they scanned the pages and started digitizing Eesti.
The designers created Latin and Cyrillic versions, in both text and display sizes, after professor Ivar Sakk, head of the graphic design department of the Estonian Academy of Arts, helped them identify the original 1947 typeface.
Why’s it called GT Eesti? Eesti refers to both Estonia and the Estonian language.
What are its distinguishing characteristics? GT Eesti has a pleasant, straightforward quality. The text version’s dynamic character is due in part to diagonal cuts that open up the apertures. The ink traps and strongly tapered letterforms in this version prevent ink and pixel bleeding. The display subfamily’s more static nature derives from its horizontal and diagonal stroke endings and slightly larger counters.
What should I use it for? Swap in GT Eesti for a refreshing change of pace from Futura, anywhere from books and posters to online uses.
Bonus round: Grilli Type also offers Lelu, a limited-edition set of charming wooden blocks the designers created in collaboration with the Czech company that produced the original Soviet Union-era toy ($38 plus shipping). There’s also the whimsically entitled book designed by Reto Moser, Apfel, Ball, und Cha-Cha-Cha. The dynamic website design created especially for GT Eesti reflects the playful spirit of the toys and children’s books that inspired the typeface.