Our weekly look at a favorite new typeface. Share yours with us on Twitter and Instagram @AIGAdesign with #TypeTuesday.
Designer: Ondrej Jób
Release Date: October 20, 2014
Back story: Woodkit got its start as a custom logo for a new online shop selling wooden home accessories. “I came up with a logo constructed from simple blocks,” says Jób. “I love quick projects like this one, but I tend to complicate them for myself. Once I got the idea, more styles started to pop up in my head, resulting in an extensive kit of letters, shapes, ornaments, and patterns. There are six styles in each of the three Woodkit families: Letterpress, Alphabet A, and B, Blocks, Figures, and Ornaments. Just for fun, I built a whole alphabet, then a second and a third set, then numbers, and I only stopped after Greek and Cyrillic were done.” Seriously, Cyrillic.
Why’s it called Woodkit? You know why. Besides the simple fun of playing with blocks, Woodkit draws upon the typographic richness of 19th-century wood type posters with their riot of styles, colors, and sizes.
What are its distinguishing characteristics? The typeface’s warm, friendly appearance is the result of an energetic mix of characters that seem to come from a huge selection of different printer’s cases, but were really meticulously planned out by the designer himself. Every glyph fills a square horizontally and vertically like a real wooden block. According to Jób’s blog, “When typing with basic ligatures turned on, the font automatically rotates between three different versions for each letter or number. When two of the same glyphs are typed together, the font replaces them with their narrow variants so they fill just a single square together, adding a little bit of spice.” And thanks to some remarkably well-conceived contextual and discretionary ligature settings, you can even create a full text document where no two words look alike.
What should I use it for? Posters! Menus! Websites! Book covers! Retail identities from children’s merchandise, to sophisticated furnishings (especially of the handcrafted variety), to cultural institutions.
Who’s it friends with? According to Jób, “Woodkit is a piece of typography as much as it is an illustration, so I guess there are no bad combinations.” Agreed! He recommends an old-style serif such as Garamond, and also especially likes it with an upcoming sans serif version of another one of his typefaces, Doko which is 95% finished and is scheduled for release later this spring (you can sneak a preview now, though).