Fedra Sans

Design concept

Fedra Sans was originally commissioned by Paris-based Ruedi Baur Integral Design and developed as a corporate font for Bayerische Rück, a German insurance company, as part of their new visual identity. According to the commissioner, the objective was to ‘de-protestantize Univers’, the typeface which Bayerische Rück had been using since Otl Aicher designed their first visual identity in the 1970s.

The typeface reflects the original brief: it humanises the communicated message and adds simple, informal elegance. The most important criterion was to create a typeface which works equally well on paper and on the computer screen, and is consistent across all computer platforms. The typeface attempts to reconcile two opposing design approaches: rigidity of a typeface designed for the computer screen and flexibility of a handwriting.

After first versions of the typeface were completed and digitised, the project was cancelled as Bayerische Rück was acquired by another even larger multinational corporation. This put an early end to the story of the custom font.

Since a lot of work had been done already, we decided to complete the typeface, adding extra weights and expert fonts. Shortly before the planned release date of the typeface, the studio was broken into, and our computers and back-up system containing all the font data were stolen. What initially seemed like the ultimate designer’s disaster was actually beneficial for Fedra. The incident delayed its release, allowing us to re-examine the early design decisions, made under the assumption that the font would be exclusive to the company and never publicly available. The new version is more versatile, offering a wider range of fonts, a number of special typographic features. The spacing of the font was altered, as well as the slope of the italics. Many characters were redrawn creating a more flexible type family.

◀ Back

Try-outs for chosing the first master weight of the font to become Fedra Sans Book. The intention was to chose a weight which is lighter than most of ‘regulars’, but not as light as a ‘light’.

Corrections of the font in a late stage of devolopment, in the process of expanding styles of the type family.