Forward is an heir from Frank Adebiaye's more than 10 years old experience as a self taught type designer (as, among other things, the creator of the Velvetyne Type Foundry). His new typeface inheriting from his long time love with technologic aesthetics associated with an almost brutalist approach to type design leading to uncompromising shapes. The mixture of a futuristic approach with a voluntarily very personal & heterogenous way of dealing with rules leads to a new take on afrofuturism in type design.
Forward is digital, both by its native process and by its looks. It raises this question: can computers dance & funk? They sure can, in bold dark and light narrow pace.
With its peculiar contrast distribution and rounded corners, Forward sits on the shoulders of the first OCR typefaces or machine-readable magnetic ink numerals meant to be read both by computers and human beings, and of the retro-futuristic typefaces of the photolettering era (1960’s). Think Westminster by Leo Maggs, Gemini by Franco Grignani or Data 70 by Bob Newman. Forward revives this esthetic in a contemporary way by being more organic in its way of dealing with contrast. The weight distribution seems to be always changing as if you were looking at a reflection in water. It also pushes the dial further by offering an absolute black/block design uncommon for the genre, carving its counters with white rays of light as if from a block of dark matter.
Forward’s mechanical outlines composed exclusively from straight lines and sharp or rounded corners makes it a perfect choice for manufacturing objects with mechanical an industrial tools, from CNC to laser cutting. This gives it an almost physical presence.
Think of Forward as both a time ship and a time capsule. You can relive the fancy 1970’s, the computerized 1980’s or envision what’s ahead years, perhaps decades from now.
Forward starts with a 2 weights set up, in all caps, with a language support focused on African and European latin based languages. Updates plan to make the family grow a the same time in term of number of intermediate styles between the 2 masters, but also in term of language support, reaching to Vietnamese, Cyrillic, Greek and maybe even more.
Forward was initiated by Frank Adebiaye, and is designed in close collaboration between us.