Courtesy TDF/Burn Type.

Name: Brik
Designer: Michael Bagnardi
Foundry: TDF/BurnType
Release Date: June 2021

Back Story: Sometimes, you just have to kill your darlings. Brik was initially released in 2018 (and EoD covered it here), yet Bagnardi wasn’t fully satisfied with several aspects of it. So he redrew it this year—completely. As in, total overhaul. “I’ve learned a lot more about type over the last three years and noticed things with the original cut that I felt could be improved upon,” he says. “So I burnt down the original Brik and started over. I used this opportunity to expand it into a heavier, tighter condensed suite as well.”

Looking at it up close, you might not notice much has changed, unless you’re an eagle-eyed type fanatic. But step back and read a larger passage of text, and you’ll see that Brik, as a whole, feels better. Optical adjustments to various letters and numerals (C,3,4,7) plus longer brackets, a heavier percentage mark, and more refined superscripts and subscripts create better legibility. Improved kerning and spacing give everything a more even color.

Why’s it called Brik? McQueen described the original Brik release thusly: “Its hardened letterforms could smash a window.” The TDF website refers to the new version as “a zero bullshit type family,” which sums it up quite nicely, too.

What are its distinguishing characteristics? Its blatant brick-like construction is honest, coarse, and unapologetic. The family features characteristic hard angles, chunky corners, and exaggerated ink traps that add a distinct edge. These hardened features are met with subtle curves and strokes that add contrast and finesse to the letterforms’ purposefully rigid foundation. Available in 20 weights, all heavy.

What should I use it for? Making a point. Burning things down and rebuilding them better. It has always worked great at large sizes—throw it on a T-shirt, or a sign—but now it works even better at smaller scales.

What other typefaces do you like to pair it with? Let’s ask the designer. “The fun thing about Brik is it has this clear construction and point of view that you can play off of. Maybe you go more neutral with a sans serif like Tomato Grotesque, or you play off the rigidity with something geometric, like Shape, or a script. You could also create some really great contrast with something more experimental and curvaceous like Skanaus or GabyGaby,” says Bagnardi.