So, I had been drawing headlines for Wired off and on for several months, always in a very pretty, high-contrast Bodoni/Didot/Generic Modern style. Then, they reached out to me and asked if I could draw some headlines in a “condensed” variation of this very pretty, modern style, where “condensed” really meant “OMG REALLY REALLY REALLY INSANELY SMOOSHED”. They needed this for a lot of headlines in their first ever “Sex Issue” and they needed them, like, um, now. The solution was to make a very quick, one style typeface with a limited character set (A-Z, basic punctuation and some very ugly, very hastily drawn numbers) in two days. Two days. 2. That’s crazy fast. I did it, they used it to great effect in the issue. That was it, job done.
Then, they wanted it for more issues. With more weights. Sure, great! I told them that they also needed multiple optical sizes so that the hairlines would always look perfectly thin. I drew it (in more than two days this time) and we ended up with five weights in four optical sizes. It’s bonkers.
These are all drawn as really real typefaces with full glyph sets, not just my quick, stripped down A-Z and ugly numbers. Speaking of the numbers, I started over on those and I’m particularly proud of how they turned out in the final fonts. The “ball” terminals somehow work despite looking like they are from a weird 1970s “Outer Space” rub-down lettering style.
I had a heck of a time naming this thing. The version that I drew for the Sex Issue had a really clever name like “Wired Sex Issue Condensed Modern”, but that lacked a little je ne sais quoi. I had code named this thing “Smoosh” early on, because, obviously. None of the other names that I came up with came close to matching the style, so it’s named Smoosh. Because it’s smooshed.
This is exclusively licensed to Wired until May 2016.