Our weekly look at a favorite new typeface. Share yours with us on Twitter and Instagram @AIGAdesign with #TypeTuesday.
Back story: FS Lucas is inspired by early 20th-century art movements like De Stijl, Art Deco, and the Bauhaus. The 1920s poster designs of AM Cassandre and the pared-down modernist architecture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe also guided designer Stuart de Rozario as Lucas took shape. “Our brief was to create a geometric sans typeface that was stripped back, modern, and pure, but with added charisma,” says De Rozario. He also sought increased legibility, historically a weak point of geometric fonts. By sketching out the letterforms by hand instead of starting with digital vectors, the designer built in some individual personality apart from the clinical qualities of pure geometry.
Why’s it called FS Lucas? The three-pointed shape of the cosmic element symbol—a template for many of the other characters—plus the way that triangular prisms break up a beam of white light into its pure component colors, revealed an obvious name for the typeface: Lucas is drawn from lux, the Latin word for light.
What are its distinguishing characteristics? FS Lucas pulls off its overall geometric appearance via a few clever tricks: its relatively large x-height and slightly thickened vertical strokes, coupled with curves that pop out at the corners, modify the underlying basic circular shapes. The generous round letterforms of this typeface show a nice contrast between spiky and soft, with pointed yet slightly flattened apexes on the more angular letterforms, like A, M, N, v, w, and z. The open terminals of the c, e, f, g, j, r, and s, and the x-height bar on the i and j are meant to aid on-screen legibility. Quirky personality lies in the upticked foot of the l and the flattish tails on the g and j, and the circular G that lacks a straight stem. The J features an unusual crossbar for improved character recognition.
What should I use it for? Fontsmith expects it to appeal to a really broad range of different brands, including technology, retail, food, architecture, editorial, travel, and manufacturing. Add to this: personal branding for graphic designers.
Who’s it friends with? Aria Text has a flirtatious playfulness that mixes well with FS Lucas. The compact characters and gigantic lowercase of Libé Sans make for a great display face to pair up with FS Lucas.