We recently designed an identity and packaging system for March Pantry in San Francisco, a new venture from retail store March. Mark created the original identity for March in 2003, one year after Tobias Frere-Jones’ Gotham became available to the public. Eight years later, Gotham has become so ubiquitous as to be invisible; as a result, we needed to create an identity for March Pantry that related to March’s use of Gotham Light, but that varied enough to be distinctive.
The ensuing type treatment is built on Gotham’s bones, but it deviates in significant ways. Foremost among the changes: we eliminated variations in stroke weight, redrawing the letters as monoline forms. In addition, we gave the leg of the R a modest lilt, and we rounded all of the external corners and terminals to soften the typographic “voice.” Finally, the implied geometry (and symmetry) of the original are fully realized: the letter C is based on a perfect circle, and the M is absolutely symmetrical. The net effect, in some sense, is to “de-design” the face, returning it to its vernacular roots. At least that’s how we think of it.
The tactility of embossed lettering on the printed label—as well as Angie’s handwriting—provides a warm contrast to the set type. Offset lithography and registered embossing by Oscar Printing; photography by Kirk Amyx. We will show more applications in due course….