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The Paiper Family

a unique family inspired by folded strips of paper

Paiper - in use 7

Paiper is a type family for use in magazines, book covers, packaging design, logos, and movie posters.

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Paiper is an informal type family for display and text use. The roman weights have slightly flared stem-endings and low contrast, while the italics feature higher contrast and more pronounced serif-shapes. Each family member has been drawn individually and delivers a unique personality to the mix, from elegant and skinny to poetic and chubby. Paiper’s intended use is for designing movie posters, book covers, logos, flyers, ads, magazines, and funky packages.

Paiper’s design was originally inspired by folded strips of paper. Rather than stopping at a literal interpretation, the shapes have been crafted to work as a system of type, to perform well and harmoniously on paper. Paiper is available exclusively from Gestalten Fonts. You can download a PDF-Specimen or buy the Paiper family.

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The paper-folding concept

During university, I became interested in type design. In the summer of 2011 I attended a workshop in Slovenia (it was my second time there), where each one of the participants was expected to develop their own typeface within one week! At this point, like most over-achieving design students, I wanted to come up with something unique. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I got the idea to play around with a strip of paper and fold it (without pressing it down flat) to get a lettershape. From here, and using my imaginatioin, I started crafting the letter shapes. When I was stuck, I went back to the real-world paper. The key was to have consistency in the shapes and approach.

Letter shapes are grounded in our history and traditions. The evolution of type and type anatomy is very slow. When devising a new alphabet, it is the choice of the designer whether to strictly adhere to conventions and create something «normal» and «functional» or to break conventions and create something «unique» while likely compromising the recognizability of the letters. Realistically, every new typeface created is somewhere between these two extremes.

The folded paper concept behind Paiper seemed quite unique to me. But when applied literally to the letter shapes, it created non-harmonious lines of text. My goal was to retain as much of the optical impression of the paper folds, while creating a rhythmic and consistent group of shapes. This involved a lot of optical adjustments and some «cheating». More about the process here.

A rendering of the original idea paper-folded idea; superimposed is the final shape, with some drastic optical corrections.

A rendering of the original idea paper-folded idea; superimposed is the final shape, with some drastic optical corrections.

The weights

Each weight has been drawn individually and adds its own personality to the mix, just like real family members, some weights are more outspoken and others more modest.

Paiper Thin is an elegant & fragile weight. It is meant to be used at large sizes, although you will be surprised how even it looks at 12 points.

Paiper Regular features pronounced flared serifs and funky cuts, but it can easily be used for running text at both large and small sizes.

Paiper Black is chubby & really gives a punch of ink on the page. Featuring a low contrast, the cuts have been exaggerated.

Paiper Thin Italic is elegant and even more fragile than its roman counterpart. It is meant to be used at large sizes, for quotes or poems.

Paiper Regular Italic takes the paper cuts to the next level. It features a higher contrast. Its edginess will give new meaning to your poems.

Paiper Black Italic is the most outspoken of the family members. Chubby and melodious, it just screams to be used at large sizes.

Details of the six weights. The tops of «a» and «g» are treated differently in the italic for better recognizability.

Details of the six weights. The tops of «a» and «g» are treated differently in the italic for better recognizability.

 

The details

The roman weights come close to a sans-serif model; the flared stems give them more playfulness. The italic weights feature more prominent “serifs” which help ground them better onto the baseline and create a stronger rhythm on the page.

The italics have more contrast and a more outspoken character than the roman weights (as is often the norm). The edginess of the original folded paper model is more easily recognizable in these weights.

The capital letters are following in the style of the lower case, with folds and cuts. In the italic, some caps even have big serif-like chunks, giving them an unmistakable character.

In use

These are some examples of how the Paiper Family could be used.

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