Fabian Harb drew the first version of ABC Whyte years ago, after coming across a type sample from the early heyday of grotesques during a bout of archival digging. He created a digital version of the design, refining and updating it as he went. ABC Whyte then made its first public appearances in the pages of small art and cultural publications.
A number of years went by, and we noticed that the typeface was aging in a particularly graceful way. Deciding that it was time to attend once again to its existing shapes, type designer Erkin Karamemet took up the task of exploring new possibilities for the font. Fabian and Johannes Breyer played minor supporting (but mostly distracting) roles throughout the process.
14 months of dedicated work and 27,040 characters later, two related-yet-visually-distinctive font families materialized: ABC Whyte and ABC Whyte Inktrap. The former has smooth and sharp transitions, while the latter has curt yet also curvy ink traps at its joints. Ink traps were of course necessary during the hot type era, in order to improve printing quality for typefaces of smaller sizes. With the emergence of variable font (VF) technology, we were intent on reviving and rethinking the idea of ink traps, exploring the shapes in the context of new tools.
Much of the design process behind Whyte was influenced by our own proofing tool, the Dinamo Font Gauntlet. The new “variable way of working” continually allows us to see old shapes with new eyes. Our VF version of ABC Whyte merges the sister-families into a flexible tool, so that you can seamlessly slide from one extreme to the other—from deep and distinctive wells to tidy, closed gaps.
Both ABC Whyte and ABC Whyte Inktrap consists of 10 weights with corresponding Italics, amounting to 40 individually accessible font styles. Each features a wide range of international punctuation and currency signs.
Design: Dinamo (Fabian Harb & Johannes Breyer, with Erkin Karamemet)
Spacing and Kerning: Igino Marini
Technical Support and Mastering: Chi-Long Trieu and Dinamo (Robert Janes)