Very cool article in the NY Times today about the Gotham typeface, which was inspired by simple sans-serif types seen everywhere in the city, and the young typeface was chosed for the cornerstone for the World Trade Center. It was developed by Tobias Frere-Jones at Hoefler Type Foundry, who didn't even know that the typeface had been used for the cornerstone until getting an email from a client and then seeing pictures of it on the Times website (which the article delights in reporting, we think). We liked these comments about the typeface:
Michael Gericke, a partner in the Pentagram studio, which designed the cornerstone with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the architects of the Freedom Tower, said Gotham "didn't look like something that was created yesterday and would be gone tomorrow."
"It seems like it's part of the larger urban environment," he said. "It seems, in a way, that it's always been there."
Another Pentagram partner, Michael Bierut, likened Gotham to the Manhattan street grid. "It doesn't show individual authorship," he said, "but it shows a character you wouldn't find anywhere else."
Some samples of the typeface can be found here at the Hoefler-and-Frere-Jones website, plus here are some interview with Frere-Jones from Typotheque and The Morning News. And is Tobias any relation to music critic Sasha Frere-Jones? Hmm...