Designer: Jan Estrada-Osmycki
Release Date: July 2018
Back Story: Threedotstype creates fonts with stories attached to them: its designs are born of meticulous research, looking to the past—or to geography—for inspiration.
Sudety is one such typeface. It was designed in the mountain range of Sudetes (or Sudety, in Czech), which stretches from eastern Germany to southwest Poland and then onwards to the north of the Czech Republic. Threedotstype’s Warsaw-based font designer Jan Estrada-Osmycki became inspired by the area while holidaying in the village of Sokołowsko. The spot is famous for its traditional climatic health resort and in the last few years, it’s become a highly sought-after destination for underground music and cinema lovers.
“In these surroundings, Jan got a ‘natural high’ and created the crazy font,” says Threedotsfoundry. He was inspired by the vernacular signage, with its raw, disproportionate letter shapes pointing to mountain trails and shelters.
“The truth is, Sudety is still a no-design land,” say Threedotsfoundry. “Jan thought of all these people setting up there and starting their own niche businesses in the middle of nowhere and thought, ‘Wait, they’ll need a regional typeface.’ They can live without running water, but a fancy font is a must.’”
Last but not least, Sudety and its story represents a miniature manifesto for the type design process. It asserts the importance of a quiet space, far from everyday duties; it signifies being close to nature, while far from the internet (a “very crucial” step when designing and finalizing a typeface, say the foundry). “Think about Sudety when you’re stuck with your own project,” the team suggests.
What are its distinguishing characteristics? Its most eye-catching features are its reversed contrast and heavy serifs. As is the trademark of Threedotstype fonts, there is an alternate for the number 2. There is also a special set of arrows for wayfinding and other navigations, alluding to those helpful signs and dotted mountain trails that inspired the font.
What should I use it for? Regional product branding is the obvious choice, or local signage. We imagine it would also look good on craft beer packaging. Sudety is well suited to bold identities for art and culture projects, and it wouldn’t look out of place on clothing either.
What other typefaces do you like to pair it with? Neutral and simple typefaces. “Reversed contrast needs contrast,” says Threedotstype.