By Formist

Author: Tessa Breuer

Kapitol is a sans serif type family characterized by robust practicality, clean utility and concrete geometry. Inspired by the unique materiality found in 1980s screen aesthetics, it expands on the memory of the single weight Chicago, re-imagining the style with more traditionally legible forms, while retaining much of the original unique contrast and feel. The Kapitol family utilizes robust geometry to create a practical and diverse set of types that can be used equally well for text and display purposes.

The first drawings for Kapitol began in pure gridded geometry and were then evolved to also utilize more balanced and organic forms. Where necessary it discards the grid and utilises letterforms that have strong connections to the history of grotesque typefaces, all the while maintaining a unique contrast and purely vertical stresses.

The fourteen style Kapitol family consists of a broad range of weights that vary progressively in their aesthetic, due to the strong contrast in combination with its vertical stress. At text sizes it feels utilitarian and sets in efficient, structural galleys. At larger sizes the finish is clean and strong, almost brutalist, making for combinations of crisp geometry and solid forms.

The range of Kapitol weights are dynamic exponents of the family’s geometry. As the type weights get lighter or heavier toward the family’s extremities, their structural requirements change, but the overall geometric tone is maintained. Ultimately, the weights at the lighter and bolder ends of the spectrum look less and less like their visual origins, but always feel like they are part of the greater family. The thin and black weights in particular stretch their inherent contrast to the limits, creating unique and characterful outcomes that are subtly familiar, yet always original.

To celebrate the release of this new typefamily, a limited edition box-set, the Kapitol Typeface Companion is available exclusively at formistfoundry.co. This special specimen box set, limited to 50 editions, comes complete with a Kapitol family pack font license. Designed by Mark Gowing, the Kapitol Typeface Companion is a visually expressive collector’s item created to playfully link the conceptual elements that underpin the design and creation of the typefamily.


Designer: Mark Gowing & Dave Foster
Foundry: Formist

Price: Essentials Pack: $ 120.–
Family Pack: $ 360.–

Kapitol Typeface Companion

Design: Mark Gowing
Dimensions: 245 × 325 × 60 mm
Workmanship: Magnetic-close box
Inside: Kapitol font family, 160 page paperback, Merino wool scarf, Kapitol pencil, 2 posters
Price: $ 400.–


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