TYPEFACES / 2021 / WT ZAFT²
Zaft² is developed in collaboration with Jacob Wise and is available on WiseType.
Zaft² is a spaghetti-chugging, frontier-focused evolution of the previous system, released back in 2019. The original Zaft was a weighty titling boldface, donning bulky yet sharp slab serifs built upon its clinically precise grid. Geometric precision was an essential feature as it is for the newer Zaft² system, however amongst this ridged framework was a new found taste for badly dubbed western flicks and Acapulco Gold…
Similar to the wave of advertising display types which swept over industrialised nations in the 19th century, Zaft² follows suit by emphasising a reverse stroke contrast and condensing in width to pack a punch on the page. This genre, most famously epitomised by a style which became known as French Clarendon, served as a parody of the common Didone types of the period – at odds with Newton’s law of gravity to create a bastard new breed of enigmas bound to garner attention amongst the typographic milieu of the period. As time progressed, this genre of type became increasingly associated with the Wild West due to it’s usage across the American frontier in the 19th century, compounded further by the rise of the heavily romanticised and stereotyped Wild West genre which saw its peak during the 1950’s/60’s.
Zaft² follows a similar trajectory into the pastiched expanses of the old frontier, albeit with a foot grounded firmly within the present. Its compact forms are rigid and tight yet counterbalanced by soft rounded corners to strike a playful harmony. A unique feature of Zaft² is the use of contextual alternatives which allow for a more compact fit. This feature seamlessly swaps in un-serifed alternatives where applicable to achieve a tighter word-image.
To drag the ’Old West’ kicking and screaming into the ’New World’, Zaft² utilises variable font technology to hand over a greater level of customisation. The family comes in 3 separate variable fonts which each offer a unique axis of control as well as providing stark differences in shape. Variable A allows you to shift weight from bottom-heavy to top. Variable B symmetrically affects the serifs in relation to the counter-space whilst Variable C asymmetrically adjusting the serifs. The full family comes complete with all 3 variable fonts as well as 6 individual static font files. Zaft² supports the majority of Latin languages. Please check the PDF specimen below for a full overview of the specific glyph-sets.
RUTHERFORD CRAZE (FEATURE CODE)
3 VARIABLE FONTS