Fabrica was my graduation project during the last semester at Emily Carr University in 2011. During this time, mobile interfaces and smart phones had just gained tremendous popularity. Despite the fact that Helvetica was not designed intentionally for small screens, it was still the default typeface on the iPhone and iPad. Typographers and graphic designers were starting to discuss this design problem. Supervised by my teachers Ross Milne and Casey Hrynkow, I explored this design problem as the premise to my graduation project.
Within the short four month semester, I had to create an effective schedule including research, typeface design, specimen design and exhibition design. During the research phase, I focused on understanding and dissecting typographic characteristics for optimal legibility. I was also doing research on wayfinding typefaces and their characteristics such as FS Millbank by Fontsmith and Wayfinding Sans Pro by Ralf Herrmann. Through my research findings, I was able to create a precise parameter on how to design a highly legible typeface for small screens.
Distinctive forms, open internal shapes and tall x-heights were some attributes for Fabrica. Due to the limitation of pixels on smaller screens, serifs would not be ideal for this application. The final details of Fabrica were drawn from the more systematic constructed Neo-Grotesques, giving it a neutral tone of voice. Above all, Fabrica’s beauty is found in its functionality.