FD Slab is a utilitarian typeface with a utilitarian name. Inspired by American firemen, the slab serif allows for a strong and stable balance in the design. This typeface was derived from a Didot with a moderate contrast to keep a modern feel and keep a sense of sophistication. The ball terminals were added to portray tradition and approachability. Figures were designed to stand out with the possibility to be used in display formats. As most Firemen are connected to a specific station number, this represents their home and community.
Originally wanting to work with a uppercase display typeface, I focused on regular weight and lowercase. Through out the process I explored contrast options. Counter shapes were also elements that I constantly changed to get the right feel. I had Didot as a reference, but also my calligraphy from the early weeks in the class. When the contrast felt too low or starting to feel too old style I adapted my counter shapes based off of one of my first references. I didn’t want something that felt too fancy, or something too low brow.
In the end I found the right balance of elements that felt modern, readable and carried a sense of tradition.
The 6-week type design programme that you’ve been waiting for starts on 6 June and ends 13 July 2023.
Our summer programme is in English and covers typeface design and calligraphy techniques, type history, and software practices. Every kind of design professional can learn about type design in a relatively short amount of time.