Our weekly look at a favorite new typeface. Share yours with us on Twitter and Instagram @AIGAdesign with #TypeTuesday.
Designer: Matt Willey
Foundry: Matt Willey
Release Date: September 2015
Back story: As the art director of the New York Times Magazine, Willey is known for his bold, surehanded design. “I started sketching this typeface out with our ‘Voyages’ issue in mind,” he says. “I knew the issue would be photo-led, even more so than usual on this occasion, and that we might want a condensed headline typeface for the narrow areas left by large landscape images. It was a bit of an experiment, really. I was just playing around with it to begin with, but I liked the way it was working on the page.”
Why’s it called NSW01? “Somewhat obscurely, and for no particularly good reason, I used my father’s initials,” says Willey.
What are its distinguishing characteristics? NSW01 has a tight but never claustrophobic quality. Its characters fit together compactly and are all the same height, without ascenders or descenders to break the line. This gives designers the freedom to mix upper- and lowercase letters (many of which resemble one another; compare the upper- and lowercase versions of the e and s, for instance) smoothly within the same word while avoiding visual jumpiness. Neat trick!
What should I use it for? This compressed display typeface is not in the least bit shy. Its thick strokes are outspoken and assertive, well suited to impart a forceful, modern feel to news headlines and posters.
Who’s it friends with? Willey has only used the typeface once, for the aforementioned ‘Voyages’ issue, in combination with the Times’s proprietary serif face and his BWord typeface. We think it’d also pair nicely with DIN 1451 or GT Pressura.