The many different weights of Gotham. Take a look at the perfect “O’s”!! This image is a PNG so that it will have a transparent background.
Helvetica reined the sans serif world for some time. However, there’s a new sheriff in town. The sans serif typeface that strikes my fancy nowadays is Gotham. There’s something about its perfect “O” shapes and great variety of thicknesses that looks beautiful on a printed page. Take a look at the first image to see the different thicknesses I’m talking about…. AWESOME, right?!
Where did Gotham come from? According to Wikipedia, GQ was looking for a typeface with great “geometric structure” that would look “masculine, new, and fresh” for their publication. The creator actually based its form off of the typeface, Futura.
The typeface is so simple and modern that a lot of brands nowadays are switching their logos to use the font. For example, when The Today Show changed their font, they switched it to Gotham. The image to the right is an example of their new logo using this typeface. Some people think that Gotham is used too much, but I strongly disagree.
The Today Show logo using Gotham as their main typeface. This image is a JPEG because it is not a flat color photo.
The beauty with Gotham is that it’s simple enough that you can have crazy designs around it, and it doesn’t clash with the designs. Me, being a crazy graphic designer, I love bright colors, great lines, interesting visual punctuation. Therefore, when I’m looking for a typeface, I always look for a simple one that doesn’t cloud my judgment when I’m switching other things in my design. At the end of a rough computer draft, when my designs look rough and there is stuff EVERYWHERE on my page, Gotham brings in great negative space and geometric proportions and helps me tone back my designs to match it.
A few other brands that have used this typeface previously are the Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid and Obama’s 2008 logo & slogan used for his first campaign-both can be seen in the images below. For Obama’s 2008 campaign, this slogan was put on shirts, signs, hats, bumper stickers, commercials, etc. They used Gotham because it’s not hard to read, easy to identify, and has a variety of weights that can be used to pull out important lines of text. In the Chicago Olympic bid logo, Gotham is a great contrast from the complicated and colorful Olympic rings and potential logo.
Obama’s 2008 Slogan. Two different weights of Gotham are used. This image is in GIF form because it is flat color.
Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid Logo. Gotham is used for both lines of text and contrasts the busy image very well. This image is a JPEG because it is not a flat color photo.
Obviously, even after reading this, I’m sure many people disagree with me that Gotham is the ULTIMATE sans serif font. However, I think it is beautiful and provides great visual hierarchy and unity within designs without needing to use other graphic elements.