Prosaic designed by Aurélien Vret is a Postmodern typographic tribute to the french vernacular signs created by local producers in order to directly market their products visible along the roads. These signs drawn with a brush on artisanal billboards do not respect any typographic rules. The construction of these letterforms is hybrid and does not respect any ductus. Nevertheless the use of certain tools provokes a certain mechanism in the development of letter shapes. It’s after many experiments with a flat brush, that’s these letterforms have been reconstructed and perfected by Aurélien Vret. This is the starting point for the development of an easily reproducible sanserif with different contemporary writing tools.
From non-typographical references of Prosaic towards readability innovation
The influence of the tool is revealed in the letterforms: angular counterforms contrasting to the smoothed external shapes. This formal contrast gives to Prosaic a good legibility in small sizes. These internal angles indirectly influenced by the tool, open the counterforms. In the past, to deal with phototype limitations in typeface production, some foundries modified the final design by adding ink traps. In our high resolution digital world, these ink traps — now fashionable among some designers — have little or no effect when literally added to any design. Should one see in it a tribute to the previous limitations? Difficult to say. Meanwhile, there are typeface designers such as Ladislas Mandel, Roger Excoffon, and Gerard Unger who have long tried to push the limits of readability by opening the counters of their typefaces. Whatever the technology, such design research for a large counters have a positive impact on visual perception of typefaces in a small body text. The innovative design of counter-forms of the Prosaic appears in this second approach. Itself reinforced by an exaggerated x-height as if attempting to go beyond the formal limits of the Latin typography. It is interesting to note how the analysis of a non-typographical letters process has led to the development of a new typographic concept by improving legibility in small sizes.
Disconnected to typical typographic roots in its elaboration, Prosaic is somewhat unclassifiable. The formal result could easily be described as a sturdy Postmodern humanistic sanserif! Humanistic sanserif because of its open endings. Sturdy because of its monumental x-height, featuring a “finish” mixing structured endings details. The visual interplay of angles and roundness produces a design without concessions. Finally, Prosaic is Postmodern in the sense it is a skeptical interpretation of vernacular sign paintings. Starting from a reconstruction of them in order to re-structure new forms with the objective of designing a new typeface. Referring to typographic analogy, the Prosaic Black is comparable to the Antique Olive Nord, while the thinner versions can refer to Frutiger or some versions of the Ladislas Mandel typefaces intended for telephone directories. To a lesser extent, the search for forms and counterforms can be reminiscent of Jeremy Tankard’s Fenland or certain Evert Bloemsma typefaces such as FF Balance or FF Legato.
Prosaic, a Postmodern vernacular sanserif
Prosaic is radical, because it comes from a long artistic reflection of its designer, Aurélien Vret, as well a multidisciplinary artist. The Prosaic is also a dual tone typeface because it helps to serve the readability in very small sizes and brings a sturdy typographic power to large sizes. A series of ligatured capitals, influenced by handcrafted lettering construction shortcuts is available in all styles, romans and italics, from light to heavy weights through OpenType functions. Some more or less cursive variants of the g, y or z, the latter in a more Germanic spirit are also proposed in Prosaic. Of course, Prosaic glyphs follows the same rules as any other typeface published by Typofonderie, including a great language support and will satisfy experienced graphic designers needs: small caps, fractions, superiors, etc.
Prosaic designed by Aurélien Vret is exclusively available at Typofonderie. This new typeface family includes romans and italics in 18 styles, to accommodate diverse uses. Prosaic designed by Aurélien Vret has been under the guidance of Jean François Porchez. since he submitted his design to Typofonderie in 2012 as a short set including capitals, lowercases, numerals and few punctuations. Prosaic includes now more than 900 glyphs by font, extended languages support, 4 sets of figures, capitals, small caps, lowercases, superiors, ligatures, alternates, stylistic sets, contextual alternates and dingbats.
Prosaic: Availability of the new typeface family
Prosaic in use
As a tradition, at Typofonderie, we test a new typeface family on various applications, using existing designs. It’s the final step of any project and it’s great fun for us. See our Fonts in use section for more.
Project: Cover version of Cars Craft magazine.
Project: Homage to Kayne West album: The Life of Pablo, 2016.
Project: Homage to Adrian Frutiger typeface, cover version of Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport signage.
Project: Imaginary use on a booking App.
Project: Homage to Spassky Fischer identity of the Mac Val.
Prosaic: Download the Try-out version!
We’re very pleased to announce that the Prosaic OpenType Full Family of 18 fonts is available in Try-out format: This license solely grants you the rights for preparatory works, evaluation and internal testings and must only be used by the licensed owner. Neither production, nor final sketch, nor final artwork are permitted. The Try-Out version includes only capitals but H replaces R, Z. For the minuscules, n replaces h, u. For the figures, 6 replaces 3, 9. Minimal punctuation includes ,.-
→ Download for free the Prosaic Full Family of 18 fonts in Try-out format