ST Elegant Contemporary


Elegant Contemporary is a 5-weight sans serif typeface family designed especially for the newly opened Contemporary Art Centre in Nottingham. Sara De Bondt, responsible for their visual identity, requested my collaboration for the design and development of the font family.

The typeface is inspired by Elegant Grotesk which was originally drawn by Hans Möhring for the Schriftgiesserei D Stempel AG in 1928. In the UK, the fount was distributed by Stephenson Blake. Although the fount was never presented in their type specimen books, Stephenson Blake had renamed it to Guildford Sans. In the 1930s various publications and advertisements in Nottingham (and London) were printed with this geometrical typeface. The University College of Nottingham in particular used it to print their book publications on Examples of Printing.

For Elegant Contemporary, the characters of Elegant Grotesk were completely redrawn. Although the shapes were adjusted to create a consistent digital font, the original features, like the tapering topfinial of the vertical stems, were respected. To pay hommage to the original, the name is conceived as a blend of ‘Elegant’ with an addition of ‘Contemporary’ as reference to the art centre in Nottingham.

Since Elegant Grotesk consisted only of a roman light and a roman bold version, a new regular weight was created for Elegant Contemporary. In addition, also two italic versions were designed to complete the family. The four typefaces of Elegant Contemporary are developed according to the OpenType font format, and include features like ligatures, alternative shapes and case-sensitive forms ◊

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