STEPHEN FRENCH JR.
The goal with Yeoman was to create a book typeface emphasizing horizontal stress rather than vertical. As the starting point for my design I looked to Martin Majoor’s Scala and Josef Tyfa’s Tyfa Antikva. Beyond sharing specific formal characteristics (mainly the use of unbracketed, rectangular serifs), both of these designs avoid explicit historical references. I wanted the only clear historical influence on my design to be the use of Roman capital proportions, which, in addition to the tendency for “old style” typefaces to rely less on vertical stress, led me to the name “Yeoman”. My investigation into reverse-contrast type mostly centered around Evert Bloemsma’s Balance. While many typefaces that attempt inverted contrast appear cartoonish, or like they belong on a wanted poster, Balance employs it with gorgeous and deceptive subtlety, successfully avoiding hamfistedness. Yeoman relies on a similarly subtle departure from typographic norms, with strict adherence to others, to achieve a texture that is even, legible, and distinctive at a range of sizes.