The Brand Identity

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Klim Type Foundry launches new typeface collection Söhne with kinetic films by DIA

According to Klim Type Foundry’s director and lead designer Kris Sowerby, their new typeface Söhne is “the memory of Akzidenz-Grotesk framed through the reality of Helvetica.” It captures the analogue materiality of ‘Standard Medium’, the original typeface used in Unimark’s legendary wayfinding system for the New York Subway.

As a collection, the typeface is comprised of four families: Söhne, Söhne Schmal (Condensed), Söhne Breit (Wide) and Söhne Mono, each with sixteen different styles. While the Söhne collection provides almost infinite opportunities for display and text presentation, Sowersby has an affinity for two specific weights, Halbfett and Fett, which have “solid, confident, poster-like qualities that resonate with my personal concept of Azkidenz-Grotesk”.

To mark the release of Söhne, Klim teamed up with New York and Geneva-based branding agency DIA, known for their innovative use of kinetic typography. They created a series of films that were developed as ‘grotesque accidents’, but evolved to capture a sense of materiality and memory.

DIA’s Meg Donohoe states that the collaboration was extremely ambitious for them: “We’ve done a handful of kinetic type specimens and did not want to repeat or replicate any techniques that we’ve explored before. Most of our work is produced digitally through animation or code. For Söhne, we stepped into uncharted territories. We created custom analogue processes using a variety of printing techniques and headache-inducing chemicals (in some cases even fire) to produce a wide range of improvised films. We then adjusted the timing in-post to bend reality further. The final films are a curated selection of over 100 tests.” 

Alongside the launch of Söhne, Klim has relaunched its website in collaboration with web design and development company Springload. They have worked together since 2013 to refine and redefine approaches to UX that put the needs of designers at the heart of the experience. As a result of this work, the website’s traffic has doubled and seen an increase of 180% in customer accounts. The new site extends the popular features of the existing site and introduces new features that give designers more options to test and research fonts prior to purchase.

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