Gotham's newest inhabitants: adventures in pan-European typography


Gotham is a typeface now familiar to many designers, but few are aware of the complexity that lies behind this seemingly simple design — both in the drawing of its shapes, and in the articulation of its range of weights and widths, it’s a classic case of the effort involved in making something appear effortless. Anyone who has tried to draw a geometric typeface knows that a good deal of non-geometric trickery is required to make lettershapes both appear truly geometric, and be truly legible; for the Gotham family, this was only the beginning. And nowhere did this sleight of hand become more necessary than in the recently released expansion of the entire family to a pan-European character set that includes the Greek and Cyrillic scripts: the sheer size and formal breadth of the family made this character set expansion anything but simple. A peek under the hood at the delicate footwork involved in creating Gotham's 66 styles, and then teaching them all to speak Greek and Russian in unison. (And Azeri, and Bulgarian, and Chechen, and Dungan, and… )